Instant messaging app WhatsApp is again hit by a serious vulnerability. This time, the bug affects group chats. It caused the app to crash for all members of the targeted group as soon as users open a malicious message. Also, it deleted the entire group chat history forever. Since there was no alternative available, users were forced to uninstall and reinstall the app to remain online. The vulnerability allowed attackers to send malicious messages to a group via WhatsApp Web. Attackers managed to edit certain message parameters using the debugging tool. After editing the text, they dropped malicious messages in the group. This ultimately reached to every member of the group and crashed the app.
Besides group crashing, users also experienced deletion of the entire group chat history. The bad characters even deleted valuable information from the device. Attackers were probably also able to gain access to the device using this weapon. When WhatsApp learned about the issue, it promised an effective measure. The Facebook owned company released a fix to resolve the problem in the new version number 2.19.58. It advised users worldwide to update the app to avoid the potential attack. The company in a statement said it greatly values the privacy of its users and it is committed to maintaining strong security.
WhatsApp has taken several steps in the last few months to strengthen security and check further breach. It recently launched a new tool to prevent people from being added to unwanted groups. WhatsApp is one of the popular chatting chat apps in the world. It has nearly 1.5 billion active users and more than a billion groups worldwide. This makes it the most popular instant messaging app and the huge user base perhaps makes it a favorite destination for hacking. According to an estimate, close to 65 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp daily globally. The Mark Zuckerberg owned Facebook had acquired WhatsApp in February 2014 for USD 16 billion.
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