A viral message is being circulated on WhatsApp and different social media platforms with a claim that forwarded good morning pictures and videos contain phishing codes, designed to hack into the phone and steal data.
The message also claims that the warning was reiterated by a media organisation called Shanghai China International News to all their subscribers.
“Dear friends, please delete all welcome photos and videos in Good Morning format and the like. Read below the article to the end, which will be clear why I ask about it. From now on I will only send personally prepared greetings. Read it all !!! Send this message urgently to as many friends as you can to stop the invasion.
Olga Nikolaevna Lawyer: Caution:
ATTENTION For those who like to send Good Morning pictures! Good day! Good evening! Do not send these “good” messages.
Today, Shanghai China International News sent SOS to all subscribers (this is the third reminder) that experts recommend: please do not send good morning, good night, pictures and videos,.
Reports show that hackers in China designed the images, the video is so beautiful to hide the phishing codes inside them, when everyone sends these messages, the hackers use your devices to steal personal information, such as bank card information and data to crack the phone…….” the post claimed.
NewsMobile fact checked the post and found it to be false.
The first thing we noticed was the number of grammatical errors in the post. Moreover, the language in the article, makes it difficult to understand the message it wants to convey. This raised the first red flag.
We also found that the same post has been in circulation since 2017.
We also ran a search and found no website or organisation that goes by the name ‘Shanghai China International News’.
We also checked official government websites and social media handles but did not find any such announcement. Neither did we find any information regarding this on the website of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
Moreover, upon further research, we found that the process of hiding secret information inside a data source is known as Steganography. In this, malware or phishing URLs can be attached to a text file, images, audio and video in a concealed manner.
However, from the above information, it is clear that the claim that all good morning messages hold phishing codes is false and misleading.
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