A warning is spreading on WhatsApp and Facebook that claims a video is spreading across WhatsApp called “Popcorn Carnival” and opening it will result in your phone getting completely hacked in seconds.
This is just another example of a fake virus warning that doesn’t appear to be describing a real threat. There are no actual reports of any type of online threat matching the description laid out in the warning above.
Warnings like this one fail to explain how malware and viruses actually spread and infect computers. They ambiguously state that opening a video will “hack” your device when this is rarely the case.
While genuine threats do often attempt to trick victims into downloading harmful files by disguising themselves as videos, there are more important aspects of this type of scam to look out for than simply the name of the video. Educating users about what to look out for (for example, be aware of websites that ask you to download “video updates” or “plugins” to watch a video) is a far more effective way of protecting people against these types of online threats.
Such warnings that dramatically exclaim that merely opening a video is enough to “hack your device in seconds” are just vague, overly alarmist rumours that cause confusion about online security. This appears to be derived from another similarly worded hoax that warned users to watch out for a “video virus” called Dance of the Pope that spread a year ago.
We don’t recommend sharing such warnings.
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