Do not download photos on WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook, they will steal your data

2024-02-24 16:29:00
A bad choice when opening an email or message can lead to risks in digital privacy – (Illustrative Image Infobae)

In the current digital age, the popularity and widespread use by millions of social networks such as Facebook and Instagram and messaging applications such as WhatsApp and emails has revolutionized the way of communication in different areas of society.

However, this development has also come with significant cybersecurity risks, particularly through sophisticated techniques that insert codes into both photos and attached documents that purport to collect private account information.

This strategy known as steganography is used to hide information in a message, which makes users of the digital spectrum susceptible to opening a file that is encrypted with a virus or algorithm that ends up generating risks in digital security.

Malware encrypted in a photo can put the functionality of the cell phone at risk. (Illustrative image Infobae)

Steganography involves making clandestine information invisible to the human eye, which has raised concerns when it is used to embed malware in common files such as images, videos and documents.

Steganography has established itself as a considerable challenge in protecting against malware, which is any malicious software, which is used by cybercriminals to infiltrate a device without the affected person’s knowledge.

The method in question goes one step further, eliminating any indication of the presence of malicious code by carefully modifying the bits in a file, without altering its original appearance.

This development marks an evolution in the common perception regarding malware carriers, extending the threat beyond executable files to documents and, crucially, multimedia files.

This type of attack takes on particular relevance in the context of social networks, platforms that facilitate the massive exchange of photos and other multimedia content.

Social networks such as messaging applications make it more likely that a user will receive photos with hidden information. (Illustrative Image Infobae)

Alarming examples have been seen in society as images that, being aesthetically harmless, carry scripts designed to execute malicious actions like a simple photo or meme, once they are downloaded or viewed under specific conditions.

Although security measures have been implemented on these platforms, the elusive nature of steganography knowledge means that the risk of infection remains, with the possibility of manipulated images mitigating, but not completely eradicating, the danger.

Likewise, in the functional case of electronic devices, the execution of malicious code through an image requires vulnerabilities in the viewing software, which represents a notable area of ​​risk for the device with which a photo is opened.

Cybercriminals continue to explore methods to exploit these weaknesses, including creating images with JavaScript code that activate when opened in browsers that support HTML 5 Canvas. These techniques show how even routine activities on social networks can compromise security.

Using platforms that protect devices from viruses is the tool to mitigate this problem. (Illustrative Image Infobae)

Given this scenario, it is essential to adopt a vigilant attitude and have advanced security solutions. Recognize signs of manipulation in the images received, and integrate technological tools to identify and neutralize dangers.

Security in the digital environment, especially in the field of social networks, also demands continuous surveillance and the use of technologies capable of revealing and counteracting hidden threats, and thus reduce cases of leaks of private data, loss of accounts, among other recurring cases today.

Techniques such as steganography, which allows malware to be camouflaged in files that appear harmless, pose a significant challenge in this regard. Knowing about these methods and deploying appropriate protection measures are crucial actions to preserve the integrity of our systems and online privacy.

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