Imagine the app that is your communication lifeline unexpectedly and repeatedly dying.
The research arm of Check Point Security announced Tuesday that it found a WhatsApp vulnerability that could have caused frustrating and potentially disastrous functionality for users. The firm alerted WhatsApp to the problem in August, and it is now fixed.
Using group chat, Check Point was able to create an exploit that would repeatedly crash the app. WhatsApp wouldn’t work again until the app was uninstalled, reinstalled, and the offending group chat was deleted. Here’s a video demo of how it works.
To most users, the bug might sound like just a frustrating experience. But the researchers pointed out to Fast Company that for users like activists or dissidents, it could be especially harmful: The bug has the potential to interrupt communication, and would require deletion of chat logs, multimedia, and contacts in group chats. That scenario is a real possibility, considering WhatsApp is a favored communication tool, especially internationally, since it has end-to-end encryption. Read more…