Researchers are urging users to update app to latest version immediately to protect against ‘powerful weapon’
A major flaw with WhatsApp has been discovered that allows people to wreak havoc in group chats and crash the messaging app for all members. Researchers at cyber security firm Check Point said the issue means that people can send a destructive group chat message that causes a swift and complete crash of the entire WhatsApp application for all members of the group.
The crash bug is so severe that anyone affected is forced to uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp on their phone or device in order to use it again. Once reinstalled, the user would be unable to return to the group chat or access any of the group’s chat history. WhatsApp was informed of the vulnerability and issued a fix, though Check Point warned that users must update the app to the latest version in order to protect themselves against the attack.
“The ability to stop people being able to use WhatsApp and to delete valuable information from group chat histories is a powerful weapon,” Oded Vanunu, Check Point’s head of product vulnerability research.
There are 300 million WhatsApp users who text using the app every day. To compare with WhatsApp’s parent company, 1.5 billion people log into their Facebook accounts every day.