New WhatsApp Android worm

If you have WhatsApp on your Android mobile phone or tablet and you notice an unexpected new name – Priyanka – in your contacts, chances are you have picked up a worm.

For information and advice on protecting your mobile device against malware, click here

As well as being the most popular mobile platform in the world, Android is also well-known as the most vulnerable to viruses. This particular worm has spread through WhatsApp on Android, changing contact group names to 'Priyanka' as it crawls through. In some instances, the worm also changes all your contact names to 'Priyanka'.

The worm is known to spread manually, relying on users to accept and install a contact file from a friend, named Priyanka, before it begins to infect their device's contacts.

The infection started proliferating on social media sites a few days ago. It appears to be limited, and is reportedly easy to remove, according to specialist online magazine The Android Soul:

– Turn off all internet connectivity on your phone, including WiFi, mobile data and Bluetooth tethering, to keep the worm from spreading to your contacts list.
– In your Contacts list, search for and delete "Priyanka".
– Go to your phone's Settings menu.
– Select Apps or Application Manager and select WhatsApp from the list.
– Select Force stop.
– Select Clear data.
– WhatsApp will appear as if newly installed. Go through setup, after which it should automatically restore conversations.

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