WhatsApp clone apps get hacked

WhatsApp clone apps get hacked

Hello Quartz Africa readers,

When WhatsApp clone apps like YoWhatsApp (YoWa), WhatsAppGB and FMWhatsapp hit the market, they impressed millions in Africa and beyond with their enhanced privacy features, custom fonts, bulk messages and the ability to transfer files up to 700MB.

Now, however, it appears that there is an additional feature that users should be very concerned about. Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky has warned that a Trojan horse named Triada can infiltrate private messages and take control of all smartphone services if the user is not using the legitimate WhatsApp app. Within the Middle East and Africa region, the firm says 27% of those affected are from African countries.

To be specific, a version of YoWhatsApp infected with Triada, has been announced on SnapTube—a top app for downloading videos from YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram—which means you’ll now see more ads, but with a big caveat: It’s malware that silently steals your private data and uses it to sign you up for paid content without your consent. FMWhatsapp was infected last year. Google’s Playstore has banned such modifications of the original app, but in the illegitimate clone of the Playstore, Vidmate, cybercriminals have published a version of YoWhatsApp called Whatsapp Plus with multiple attack vectors.

Even more disturbingly, this Trojan steals the keys required for WhatsApp to function, hijacks users’ accounts and uses login information to delete bank or mobile money through the various payment apps installed on the smartphone, while distributing the same malware to WhatsApp contacts and collect money from them too.

See also  Gmail hacked? How to recover a Gmail account

Apps downloaded only from official app stores won’t guarantee you the same choices of custom features, but they minimize the possibility of waking up tomorrow to find all your account balances reduced to zero and having to pay back loans you didn’t applied for. — Faustine Ngila, East Africa Correspondent

What to look for in the Quartz Africa membership letter

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By the numbers

54%: Fintech’s share of venture funding of more than $4 billion raised by African startups in 2021

$330 billion: The financing gap for small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa

73%: Percentage of adults in Egypt who are unbanked

60%: The proportion of electricity bills paid with cash in Egypt

2/3: The proportion of adults in Africa who lack access to formal financial services

2.78%: The insurance penetration rate in Africa

Learn more about MNT-Halan, an Egyptian super app, in last week’s edition by Quartz Africa Member Brief. To receive the membership letter directly in your inbox (and save 40%), become a member today!

Stories this week

The Africa CDC chief was not immune to visa struggles. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma says he almost missed a global health summit after immigration staff at Frankfurt airport “mistreated” him. As Annalisa Merelli explains, it is a common struggle for African participants at high-level conferences in Europe and North America.

Ghana’s traders close shop to protest inflation. With inflation at 37.2% in Ghana, traders in the crisis-hit country say higher prices, currency and interest rates eroding their business capital, Alexander Onukwue reports.

Will censoring Al Shabaab’s press coverage tame terrorism in Somalia? The Somali government has banned journalists from writing about the terrorist group, which has responded by sending journalists a terrifying message. Faustine Ngila reports on this new media war.

Nigeria’s floods have displaced a million people. Heavy rains and the release of excess water from a dam in Cameroon have caused Nigeria’s worst floods in a decade, leaving many homes under water and over 600 people diedwrites Alexander Onukwue.

It’s politicians vs scientists in the GMO conundrum in Kenya. A lifting of the ban on GMOs is causing unrest in Kenya over safety and human health. Faustine Ngila details the origin of the problem and why GMOs are a polarizing issue in Kenya.

Charts Uganda’s rise as a financial star in eastern Africa

A chart showing selected East African countries, their financial market scores and stock market capitalization.

Kampala may soon dislodge Nairobi from its status as the financial capital of eastern Africa if Uganda continues with measures that have made it the region’s most developed financial sector. That’s the forecast for the sixth edition of the 2022 Absa Africa Financial Markets Index (pdf) published by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), a London-based banking think tank and Absa Bank, one of Africa’s leading banks. Faustine Ngila reports on the findings.

Deal maker

Egyptian e-commerce company MaxAB raised $40 million. The company, which supplies groceries to retailers, raised $55 million last year. Investors in the startup’s new round include British International Investment (BII), and Silver Lakethe American private equity company.

Nigerian e-commerce company Bump raised $4 million in a seed round. Bumpa’s services include an app for small businesses to manage inventory and payments, including a recent integration with Meta for easier online sales. The startup’s investors include Base10 partners, Plug & Play Ventures, DFS Labsand FirstCheck Africa among others.

Quartz gemstones

“Make in India” has a long way to go

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing the “Make in India” initiative for the past eight years, trying to wean the country off its dependence on goods made in China. But even after billions of rupees in investment, Modi’s much-sought confidence has not materialized as China’s trade surplus with India now exceeded $1 trillion.

India is still far from the target, which seems to be only moving further away.

30%: Increase in India’s imports from China in the last five years

$125.6 billion: Bilateral trade in 2021, which crossed the $100 billion threshold for the first time

$97.5 billion: Share of bilateral trade in 2021 that accounted for India’s imports from China

What is your salary?

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Illustration: Yes Minor

Near the top of the list of conversations to avoid this holiday season™️ is how much money you make. But maybe you’re among a growing group of professionals who know how much your friends make, and even how much your boss makes—and you might be happier for it.

Pay transparency can make our workplaces much fairer. But being privy to that personal information can also be a double-edged sword. If pay is shared openly, companies need a justification for paying one person more than another. There is even a company where employees can vote on each other’s salaries. It’s an extreme end of the salary transparency spectrum, to be sure – but is it a good idea, or a terrible one?

🎧 We get honest about pay in this week’s episode of the Work Reconsidered podcast. Listen to: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher

Other things we liked

The discovery of a second mass grave in Malawi led to dozens of arrests. The BBC’s Peter Jegwa reveals that 72 Ethiopians were hiding in Karonga and 10 Malawians were arrested after 25 bodies were found in a mass grave in Mzimba.

Around 50 people died in Chad during protests against the authorities. For Reuters, reports Mahamat Ramadane on the victims as a result of demonstrations demanding democratic leadership.

Namibia now wants to create a CBDC. Tech Cabal’s Ephraim Modise explains why the Central Bank of Namibia is thinking it’s time to create Namibia Dollar Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Coconut prices hit the roof in Zanzibar. For The Citizen, Mohammed Issa explores the reason why rising coconut prices and how they cause distress in the kitchen and furniture yards.

Egypt freed 35 prisoners. Egypt Today writes about the family’s joy after the last release of remand prisonersadding to the hundreds of inmates who have been released since President Sisi called for the release of young prisoners in April.


Search Forbes Africa 30 Under 30. Are you an African entrepreneur who has been running an innovative business for the past two years and is under the age of 29? Well, here it is an early chance to be listed in next year’s Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 in various sectors. (March 31, 2023)

Win $20,000 at the World Innovation Summit Awards. Applications for the 2023 WISE awards are now open. The awards identify, celebrate and promote six innovative projects for their positive contribution to education and society. (December 1st)

🎵 This brief was produced while you were listening “Ololufe” by Flavor feat Chidihma (Nigeria).

This week’s brief took you to 🇰🇪, 🇳🇬, 🇪🇬, 🇸🇴, 🇬🇭, 🇲🇼, 🇪🇹, 🇹🇩, 🇳🇹 and 🇿🇬

Our best wishes for a productive and idea-filled week ahead. Please send all news, comments, suggestions, ideas, visa free travel and super apps to [email protected]. You can follow us on Twitter at @qzafrica for updates throughout the day.

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