Sneaky Fake WhatsApp App Attracts 1M+ Downloads

Audiobooks, in-app notifications, and more coming to Google Play Store

The only difference between the original and the fake app is that the fake one has added a Unicode character space after the WhatsApp Inc.name.

A forged version of Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been maliciously doing rounds on Google Play Store as "Update WhatsApp Messenger" with developer name as 'WhatsApp Inc*'.

Dubbed "Update WhatsApp Messenger", the bogus app has been developed by a company calling itself "WhatsApp Inc".

The app that @MujtabaMHaq tweeted about was a fake version of the upcoming WhatsApp Business app.

In the meantime, a potentially malicious WhatsApp counterfeit has been discovered on the Google Play Store.

It's very easy to fall for the fake app. The genuine app already has more than a billion downloads.


"Fake app do not install". The update has been expected after the app refused to send or receive messages as well as the persistent "connecting" indication. Due to it looking like the real deal, no one would have looked closer at the developer or the name of the app.

Beware, if you are planning to download WhatsApp. Head over to Google Play and download it now - or check it out in a bit more details on their site. Unfortunately, though, the unearthed code doesn't give us any information on what app will be used to play the audio books.

According to the report, a version of popular mobile game Temple Run 2 can also be found which was uploaded in October.

Once Google started receiving multiple complaints about the fake WhatsApp app, it was taken down from the platform.

We likely will see more apps in the future using this technique. Google Play rules don't allow apps to impersonate another brand title or logo.

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