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After clicksByNovak Bozovic-July 29, 2019.552 A spam campaign targeted WhatsApp users providing links that would allow individuals to sign up for ‘ 1000Gb of Free Internet. ‘ Although there is no phishing malware involved this campaign reminds us of the strength social engineering possesses. Giveaways have always been a reliable way to get some online exposure and malicious actors know this trend well. Therefore, hearing that Eset security researchers have uncovered a scam that relies on WhatsApp providing ‘ free internet ‘ is not as shocking. Upon further analysis, the researchers found a whole network of similar fake gifts whose function is to draw ad-clicks. Surprisingly enough for now at least the malicious scheme is free from malware. As has happened many times before scammers use well-known brands to perform fake offers and attract users to sign up. Something similar had happened recently with InstagramAmerican Express, whose users and consumers dropped pretty much to campaigns on phishing. This time around malicious actors have chosen to use WhatsApp as a familiar brand which can quickly attract potential targets. They’ve used the fact that this year WhatsApp is celebrating its tenth birthday to make it easier to pass their fake campaign if a person does a quick search for Google. WhatsApp users have been recently getting a message saying ‘ WhatsApp Offers 1000Gb Free Internet ‘ accompanied by a link with additional details. The connection would then open a Web page with a form that users would need to fill out to appear as a real giveaway. There’s a popular countdown here to persuade you to act quickly. Finally, a pop-up appears to ask you to share the message with 30 other WhatsApp users before finalizing this process, which would allow this initiative to rapidly expand its scope. .553 What’s important to mention is that no malware is linked to this fraudulent WhatsApp operation. And oddly enough, Phishing is not involved either. So you have to wonder what the intention of this fake advertisement for a giveaway is? Ok, according to Eset, the goal is to rack up fake ad clicks that would carry money to this campaign’s operators. However this could easily change at any moment as it would not take much time or effort to produce results to execute malware or a clever phishing scheme. And finally it’s worth noting that the domain at issue turned out to be linked to multiple scams depending on popular brands around the world. This is yet another example of how social engineering works which help malicious actors spread their reach easily. As Eset reminds us, make sure that you look closely at any kind of promotional messages you receive via email or I m. Don’t just blindly click on any links, and always test who’s sending you the message and where’s it taking you. Sadly WhatsApp in this case is pretty helpless as the only thing that can be done is to spread the message about this fake initiative.