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Indian Army targeted by ‘Whatsapp Virus’

Central security agencies have alerted defence and security personnel against the malicious activity of a virus, falsely bearing the name of elite organisations like NDA and NIA, that may breach and hack into their personal information and banking data.

An advsiory issued to the defence and security establishments in the country states that the two notorious virus file are circulating over instant messaging application Whatsapp and are capable to sneak into personal details of the user, especially the men in uniform.

The two files, as per the advisory accessed by PTI, are– “NDA-ranked-8th-toughest-College-in-the-world-to-get-into.xls” and “NIA-selection-order-.xls”.

Officials privy to the contents of the advisory said the NDA here is understood to be indicating to army’s National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla in Pune while NIA to the premier terrorist incidents’ probe organisation– the National Investigation Agency.

It is understood that the malicious virus-laden file is formatted in the form of ‘MS Excel’ file majorly, but officials did not rule out it’s aliases in the ‘MS Word’ or ‘.PDF’ formats to attack a user’s phone and data.

The advisory added that the corrupt virus files are “programmed” to illegally extract personal information of the user, their login credentials and banking details like passwords and PIN numbers.
“As these two organisations are very popular and known within the country and abroad and there is a curiosity to know more about them, it is possible that it may affect the mobile phones of people interested in these subjects. However, it has been analysed that the men and women in defence, paramilitary and police forces could be the target groups,” they said.

Officials said the advisory has now been shared with the field formations of these security forces so that the troops and officers on the ground are made aware and alerted against this virus which has been seen prowling in the instant messaging cyber space recently.

The personnel have also been asked to report these incidents to their Information technology cells, they said.

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