A MYSTERIOUS bug that can crash your WhatsApp is being spread via a specific text.
The message contains code that causes the app to permanently crash, meaning you have to delete and reinstall your WhatsApp.
The problem was highlighted to WhatsApp experts WABetainfo on Twitter.
The damaging message includes special characters that WhatsApp cannot read.
As it struggles to make sense of the message, it crashes.
According to Wabetainfo, the malicious code seems to be coming from Brazil where it’s a big problem.
It can also be passed on through Virtual Contact Files (VCFs).
These are contact cards that you can send people that let them add a new contact easily.
Opening a malicious VCF could result in your phone trying to download 100 contacts, each with names designed to crash your WhatsApp.
To try and protect yourself from malicious messages from strangers you can change your WhatsApp settings.
Open your WhatsApp settings and click ‘Account’, ‘Privacy’ and then ‘Groups’.
Then under the section ‘Who can add me to groups’, you can change the setting from ‘Everyone’ to ‘My Contacts’.
This should stop you being added to random groups containing the malicious message.
If you do receive a message containing random characters, don’t open WhatsApp on your phone.
You’re better off logging onto WhatsApp’s Web app on your desktop, deleting the message and blocking the user who sent it.
Luckily WhatsApp has released a patch for the problem.
A WhatsApp spokesperson told us: “WhatsApp has released and already begun rolling out a patch that addresses this in its latest iOS software update.
“As with any tech product, we strongly encourage users to keep their WhatsApp app and mobile operating system up to date and download updates whenever they’re available.”
WhatsApp – a quick history
Here’s what you need to know…
- WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former employees of Yahoo
- It’s one of the most popular messaging services in the world
- Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like “what’s up”
- After a number of tweaks the app was released with a messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
- It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users
- Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3billion (£14.64bn)
- The app is particularly popular because all messages are encrypted during transit, shutting out snoopers
- WhatsApp has over 2billion users globally
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Have you had any problems with WhatsApp recently? Let us know in the comments…
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