PSA: A virus named “Priyanka” is spreading on Whatsapp, here’s how to remove and stay away from it

Priyanka Whatsapp Virus

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A virus named “Priyanka” is spreading on Whatsapp through a contacts file that if you add to your contacts will change the name of all the groups you have on your Whatsapp to “Priyanka”, and in the worst case, it may also replace all your contacts name to ‘Priyanka’ as well.

It started spreading earlier yesterday and I got it from a relative. It was sent to me without his notice so we could presume that once it gets on your phone it automatically forwards itself to all your Whatsapp contacts without your permission.

Anyway, I willingly added it to my contacts to see if it’s for real. And Damn! it worked — replaced all the group names on my Whatsapp to “Priyanka”. So folks! stay away from it.

Here’s how to stay away from Priyanka Whatsapp virus

Priyanka contact

Thankfully this virus doesn’t gets installed on your phone by itself. So in case you receive a contact file named “Priyanka” from anyone on Whatsapp or by any other way, make sure that you do NOT add/save it to your contacts. It can’t do any harm without getting added to your contacts database so just DON’T save it.

However, in case you’ve already saved it to your contacts. Here’s what you should do to get rid of it:

Removing the Priyanka Whatsapp virus

First thing you should do is turn off all the internet connectivity on your phone. WiFi, Mobile data and bluetooth tether.. all of them to stop it from spreading to your contacts list.

To get rid of this virus from your phone you need to delete it from your contacts and also clear your Whatsapp database.

NOTE that clearing your Whatsapp database would bring it to a freshly installed state. You’ll be required to do all the Whatsapp setup again. And thankfully, Whatsapp does take auto backups of all your conversations so they’ll be restored automatically once you’re through the setup. However, chances are that you’ll lose some of your recent conversations, say last 24-36 hrs, but there’s nothing you could really do about it so just bear with it.

Below are the noob proof steps to get rid of the virus:

  1. Go to your contacts, search for Priyanka and DELETE it
  2. Go to Settings on your phone
  3. Select Apps or App manager and then select Whatsapp from the list
  4. Tap on Force stop and then on Clear data
    Whatsapp clear database

Once done. Open Whatsapp on your phone and it’ll show up as you’ve just installed it again. Go through the setup. And in the end it’ll automatically start restoring your conversations.

Is this the perfect solution?

I don’t know. But I could guarantee it’s the best first-aid you could do.

Do give a little help and share this page with your friends and relatives. And if you’ve any questions you can post them in the comments section below.

[featurearea title=”Update” icon=”notification”] Turns out I was mistaken in presuming that this “Priyanka” thingy automatically forwards itself to your Whatsapp contacts. It doesn’t do anything like that.  [/featurearea]

[featurearea title=”Update 2″ icon=”notification”] The most recent Whatsapp update that was pushed on 10th July (version 2.10.768) seems to have fixed the issue. Although, the update change log doesn’t mention anything specific about Priyanka except for bug fixes and improvements and also something about “improved treatment of address book duplicates” (which could mean something). But anyway, after installing the update I tried to save the Priyanka contact file again and it failed to make any mess. So, I think, it’s pretty safe to say that the exploit has been fixed.


83 Comment

  1. Meghraj Baria says: Reply

    I know about it but didn’t install it. This blog is one of the few to report this along with a solution. Goodwork.

    1. Shivam says: Reply

      Thanks buddy 🙂

      1. paul says: Reply

        It will be so helpful for researches if you share the sample or that malicious contact file

        – Malware analyst

  2. priyanka says: Reply

    But… I just want us to be friends 🙁

    1. anti-priyanka says: Reply

      no priyanka, stop it, nobody likes you

    2. AK says: Reply

      Please come to my WhatsApp.

    3. Dude. says: Reply

      Hahaha I know which Priyanka this is.

  3. Anti-Virus says: Reply

    Have a copy or MD5 sum of the malicious contacts file?

  4. AK says: Reply

    Thankfully there’s no one by that name in my contacts list and I’ll think twice before getting touch with anyone named “Priyanka”.

    I wonder how long shall it take for the attacker to name it from Priyanka to Aishwarya, Deepika or even Nicole.

  5. sodapub says: Reply

    This is not a ‘virus’ . Its an exploitation of a bug in whatsapp. An annoying prank at best. It does not wipe your data, or expose it to others. Neither does it spread by itself. Please do your research first.

    1. Cubox says: Reply

      It is. Every viruses exploit a bug.

      1. sodapub says: Reply

        really? would you call this a virus?
        Remember, it exploits a bug in whatsapp too

        1. tomfool says: Reply

          for a virus it must also spread itself.

          1. sodapub says:

            Which it doesn’t do. The writer has obviously made a mistake in this regard.

          2. Shivam says:

            Yeah, you’re right. Should have done more research on it before posting. Anyway, I’ve updated the post now clearly mentioning that it doesn’t spread by itself.

            Sorry for the confusion.

    2. Dude. says: Reply

      Thats how all ‘viruses’ originated. The first ever ‘virus’ was implemented as a prank. Please do your research first.

  6. webhax says: Reply

    Lol. Never thought it would get so viral. But yeah, just delete the contact and carry on with life. Chats and contacts would return to normal. Except, unsaved contacts on whatsapp. You’ll have to save those to get rid of ‘her’ oh and what sodapub says, do some more research before blogging. (:

  7. Kaustubh says: Reply

    I just had to delete the contact from my Google Contacts. Also calling this a virus is a little far fetched. Its just an exploit.

  8. hackey says: Reply

    Can any body give me code for this virus ir a bug

  9. blablablub says: Reply

    could somebody give me the contact file pls?

  10. user1 says: Reply

    my friend just received it and it was forwarded to some of his contacts randomly ? is there any explanation ??

  11. E Hacking News says: Reply

    Hi, anyone have the sample of the malicious contact file?!

  12. guest says: Reply

    i want to send it to a dbag i know haha so much fun

  13. anon22 says: Reply

    hahaha Android users really are fucking stupid. They’d have to be to fall for a bush-league “virus” like Priyanka.

    1. YourDaddy says: Reply

      Android users are fucking smart swthrt what we can do u cant even imagine im saying u cus im developer >_<

  14. Magni says: Reply

    Do you have the md5 or the sample?

  15. R Martin SEO says: Reply

    Niceone, this is a summarized spanish translation of this post

  16. Sunny says: Reply

    If you really wanna stay away from dear priyanka then you should have dearest iphone because iPhone’s better than poor android

  17. ruckmn says: Reply

    how to stop Emails to my computer, (not cell phone), from whatsapp?

  18. nikhila says: Reply

    Hi i got something like it.. I didnt click it at all . but i just replied asking “who is this” then i immediately blocked the number from which it was sent. Someone said that even you replied your phone will get affected. But all my contacts are same. Am i still in threat??

    1. Shivam says: Reply

      Nope. You’re fine. It was a bug in WhatsApp that the company has already patched.

    2. Shivam says: Reply

      Nope. You’re fine. It was a bug in WhatsApp that the company has already patched.

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  22. But… I just want us to be friends 🙁

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