Is it over for GBWhatsApp users?

  • Users on social media are sharing that they are having their WhatsApp accounts banned when found to be using GBWhatsApp.
  • The unofficial third-party WhatsApp mod has been a thorn in the side of the Meta-owned company for years.
  • This latest crackdown may be more wide-reaching than previous ones. Users are warned to not download any unofficial WhatsApp mods.

Users of the popular unofficial third-party WhatsApp clone, GBWhatsApp, were in for a rude awakening in February as they began receiving renewed messages that their WhatsApp accounts would be suspended if they continued using the unauthorised mod.

On the app, messages began popping up warning users that they would need to switch to the official WhatsApp if they wanted to continue sending messages from the same account. Many users in Nigeria, where GBWhatsApp has a large base of users have been posting on X that they would soon be kicked from the platform.

The clone also enjoys popularity among South African and Kenyan users.

When attempting to enter GBWhatsApp, the app blocks their login attempt and instead directs users to download the official version of the Meta-owned chat giant. “You need the official WhatsApp to log in,” the message reads.

Many users on X have said that they were forced to switch over to the official WhatsApp as of February. It is likely the crackdown has been extended.

In 2021, WhatsApp was threatening to ban anyone found using GBWhatsApp and other unofficial mods like WhatsApp Plus. At the time, users could find and download the app through a quick Google search. It became relatively popular because of all the unusual features it allowed, which contradict several policies of the official WhatsApp.

These include:

  • The ability to hide your “online” status,
  • Remove the blue/double tick when you receive or send a message,
  • Retrieve photos that were sent to your account but were deleted by the sender,
  • Retrieve the deleted statuses of other users,
  • Run multiple accounts through the same app,
  • More customization options for the UI,
  • Select which user can give you a call on WhatsApp or receive no calls from anyone,
  • Send up to 90 images to another account at once.

Some of these features, of course, can be abused. For example, the option to download deleted photos sent to you. This led to wide-ranging account bans, but now three years later users are still using GBWhatsApp, even if Meta is making it more difficult to do so. Users have been managing to use the unofficial app via anti-ban versions of the platform. The creators of the mod seemingly update it monthly to avoid the latest crackdown.

Last week, an apparent data breach covered by Nairobi News and BNN, involving users of GBWhatsApp drove home just how unsafe these unofficial mods are. Unlike WhatsApp, which has acclaimed user-to-user encryption and is from a known company, the creators of GBWhatsApp are unknown and worse yet they don’t have to adhere to any encryption or data protection policies.

This means users of GBWhatsApp are at risk of being taken advantage of by the creators of the platform themselves and have no defences against other threat actors. In November last year, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky found that an unofficial WhatsApp mod was stealing user information, including contacts, phone numbers and country codes. The company did not say what the name of the mod was.

It is important to note that you can still download the install the GBWhatsApp APK, but we would recommend that you do not, as either it will not work, it will get your WhatsApp account banned or you could place your private information at risk from threat actors.

[Image – Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash]


About Author


Related News