Can greeting photos and videos hack your phone, and steal your data?
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!
Claim : Greeting Photos + Videos Can Hack Your Phone!
People keep sharing this warning about greeting photos and videos, which claims that they can hack your phone and steal your data.
It’s a long message, so just skip to the next section for the facts!
Truth : Greeting Photos + Videos Cannot Be Hack Your Phone!
Many of us get spammed with Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening photos and videos every day from family and friends.
While they often clog up Facebook, Telegram and WhatsApp groups, they really cannot hack your phone. Here are the reasons why Good Morning messages are very irritating, but harmless…
Fact #1 : Shanghai China International News Does Not Exist
The news organisation that was claimed to be the source of this warning – Shanghai China International News – does not exist!
Fact #2 : Greeting Photos + Videos Not Created By Hackers
Hackers (from China or anywhere else) have better things to do than to create these greeting photos and videos.
They are mostly created by websites and social media influencers for people to share and attract new followers.
Fact #3 : No Fraud Involving Greeting Photos / Videos
There has been no known fraud involving Good Morning or Good Night messages, videos or pictures.
Certainly, half a million victims of such a scam would have made front page news. Yet there is not a single report on even one case…. because it never happened.
Fact #4 : Image-Based Malware Is Possible, But…
Digital steganography is a method by which secret messages and other data can be hidden in digital files, like a photo or a video, or even a music file.
It is also possible to embed malicious code within a Good Morning photo, but it won’t be a full-fledged malware that can execute by itself.
At most, it can be used to hide the malware payload from antivirus scanners, which is pretty clever to be honest…
Fact #5 : Image-Based Malware Requires User Action
In January 2019, cybercriminals created an online advertisement with a script that appears innocuous and would pass any malware check.
However, the image itself has an “almost white” rectangle that is recognised by the script, triggering it to redirect the user to the cybercriminals’ website.
Once there, the victim is tricked into installing a Trojan disguised as an Adobe Flash Player update.
Such a clever way to bypass malware checks, but even so, this image-based malware requires user action.
You cannot get infected by the Trojan if you practice good “Internet hygiene” by not downloading or installing anything from unknown websites.
Fact #6 : Malicious Code Executes Immediately
If you accidentally download and trigger malware, it will execute immediately. It won’t wait, as the hoax message claims.
Deleting Good Morning or Good Night photos or videos will free up storage space in your phone, but it won’t prevent any malware from executing.
There is really no reason for malware to wait before it infects your devices. Waiting will only increase the risk of detection.
Whether the malware serves to take over your device, steal your information or encrypt it for ransom, it pays to do it at the first opportunity.
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