We’re all so dependent on WhatsApp these days. Be it chatting to your friends, making movie plans or even discussing your office work, everything happens on WhatsApp. But what if a malware that looked like a WhatsApp message entered your phone and tracked everything from your passwords to your data. Doesn’t that sound threatening? 

A new report by Electronic Frontier Foundation and cybersecurity firm Caracal, has revealed a new malware that is infiltrating and duping people from all professions — including doctors and military personnel. It’s called ‘Dark Caracal’ and can spell doom for your phone. According to the report, almost 21 countries were affected by the malware and people were tricked into sharing their text messages, photos, etc. from their phone. 

“One of the interesting things about this ongoing attack is that it doesn’t require a sophisticated or expensive exploit. Instead, all Dark Caracal needed was application permissions that users themselves granted when they downloaded the apps, not realizing that they contained malware,” Cooper Quinton from Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a statement. 

“This research shows it’s not difficult to create a strategy allowing people and governments to spy on targets around the world,” he added. 

“People in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Lebanon, and France have been hit by Dark Caracal. Targets include military personnel, activists, journalists, and lawyers, and the types of stolen data range from call records and audio recordings to documents and photos. This is a very large, global campaign, focused on mobile devices. Mobile is the future of spying, because phones are full of so much data about a person’s day-to-day life,” said Eva Galperin, director of Cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 

The best way  to avoid this malware is to not click on links shared by unknown people and maintain a healthy sense of distrust towards websites which aren’t well known or verified.