WhatsApp Virus That Could Crash Your iPhone

Posts by: Paulo Franco

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More than 1.5 billion people use WhatsApp on a daily basis. It’s one of the most convenient and popular messaging apps on the market, that being said; it isn’t lacking flaws and security threats. Dozens of security faults were reported over the years and fortunately, all of them were fixed by the app’s developers and researchers.In August 2018, security researchers discovered a potentially serious WhatsApp virus that could enable attackers to crash the iOS app immediately after a call was answered. That call could be used also to hack and take control of your phone. It came only two months after the discovery of a different security issue that allowed hackers to exploit WhatsApp’s encryption method to change group chats’ content and senders’ names.

The flaw was firstly detected by a digital forensics’ expert at Google Project Zero. It was basically a memory corruption bug in WhatsApp’s video conferencing implementation and could occur when a user would accept a call from a malicious individual. Hackers that were aware of this vulnerability could potentially hijack a victim’s phone if they answered a call and remotely access the said device’s content and WhatsApp conversations.

This means that by simply answering a WhatsApp call from a cyber attacker you could completely compromise your app. In order to hijack your phone and access your private conversations, the attacker would only need a valid phone number.

The vulnerability discovered on August 2018 affected both iPhone and Android versions of the app, but not the desktop version. WhatsApp reported that the issue was fixed in late September for Android users and a version was released in early October for iPhone users to fix the error. There is no evidence that hackers actually exploited the bug to launch attacks. So, if you haven’t updated your WhatsApp version since September, now is the time!