WhatsApp, being Facebook’s premier messaging platform, is the most significant player in the field today. This also makes it the target of attackers and hackers who continuously and repeatedly breach through its security. Recently, several reports surfaced online, revealing that the messaging app is again under attack endangering the iOS and Android users with new malicious video files.
Facebook discretely confirmed another security vulnerability on WhatsApp, according to Forbes. The social media outlet reportedly released an advisory notice last Nov. 14 warning users that a stack-based buffer runoff could be triggered in its messaging platform, WhatsApp, by sending MP4 files to WhatsApp users. There are no further details about the threat, but the warning is serious.
WhatsApp’s compromised system could risk denial of service to iOS and Android users. Additionally, it could allow remote code execution on the attacked or infected device. This could enable attackers to plant malware on an infected device that could be utilized to take over it or use it to eavesdrop remotely.
Facebook has not revealed if the vulnerability was intercepted or was reported by a security researcher. However, it is worth noting that these days, threats and attacks on messaging platforms are growing in numbers, and issues like these should be taken seriously and given immediate action. Facebook disclosed that the current issue impacts various versions of WhatsApp, including Android versions prior to 2.19.274, iOS versions prior to 2.19.100, and Enterprise Client versions prior to 2.25.3.
WhatsApp on Windows Phone versions before and including 2.18.368, Business for Android versions prior to 2.19.104, and Business for iOS versions prior to 2.19.100 are also affected. Users are currently advised to check their WhatsApp to make sure that they are running on the latest build of the app on all platforms. Should they find their up running on the old version, they should immediately update it to prevent being exposed to such risk.
The major risk with a WhatsApp vulnerability is the simplicity of which a hacker or an attacker can be mounted. Utilizing WhatsApp as the delivery medium for an infection makes it a very easy attack vector. All the hacker needs is a phone number to execute what he entails to do.