Sri Lankans reshare old hoax about 'malware videos spreading on WhatsApp'

November 28, 2023

A false Sinhala-language message has been circulating in Sri Lanka on Facebook, warning users not to open two purported malware videos shared on WhatsApp. The message falsely claims that opening these videos, titled 'Martinelli' and 'The Pope's Dance,' will lead to phone hacking. However, according to Meta, the owner of WhatsApp and Facebook, this claim is untrue.

The message advises users to be cautious and not click on suspicious links, reporting such messages within the app. Cybersecurity expert Asela Waidyalankara confirmed that this message has been circulating globally in various languages since at least 2017. While it's technically possible to spread malware through video files, there's no evidence to support the specific titles mentioned in the message as hacking tools.

Asela Waidyalankara emphasized the importance of not forwarding unverified claims and the potential risks of doing so. The claim about the 'Martinelli' video being dangerous has been debunked since at least 2017, and similar false claims have circulated in other countries as well. It's essential for users to exercise caution, verify information, and avoid spreading hoaxes.

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