Can the Seismic Wave Card containing photos of the recent earthquake at Morocco hack your phone?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Morocco Earthquake Seismic Wave Card Can Hack Your Phone!
This warning about the Seismic Wave Card containing photos of the recent earthquake at Morocco has gone viral on WhatsApp:
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Truth : There Is No Morocco Earthquake Seismic Wave Card!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and here are reasons why…
Fact #1 : There Is No Seismic Wave Card!
First, let me just point out that there is no such thing as a Seismic Wave Card.
The Seismic Wave Card is an Internet hoax that keeps getting recycled for every earthquake that comes along, like these examples show:
Fact #2 : Photos Are Shared Directly On WhatsApp
There is no need to open any file, or install any app, to view photos on WhatsApp. You simply click to view photos shared by other people on WhatsApp.
Of course, people may sometimes share high-resolution photos in ZIP or RAR files, because WhatsApp greatly reduces the resolution of photos shared on its platform.
Unless you know what you are doing, it’s best to only view photos and videos directly inside WhatsApp, and not download any compressed files at all.
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Fact #3 : Seismic Waves Card Is Not A Browser Hijacker
Seismic Waves Card appears to be falsely labelled as a browser hijacker by at least one “cybersecurity” website:
There is no evidence that a malware or browser hijacker called Seismic Waves Card exists. The article itself does not offer any evidence to prove its existence. In fact, the article and its guide on how to “remove” the malware appears to be generic, and may possibly be AI-generated.
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 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… but it cannot hack your smartphone by itself.
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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.
This is an incredibly 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 take 10 seconds, as the hoax message claims.
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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