The research found a flaw that would allow a hacker to create a malicious group message to crash WhatsApp on users' devices and lead to the latest version of WhatsApp
Check Point Research, the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd., a leading provider of cyber solutions worldwide, has recently helped mitigate a new vulnerability in WhatsApp that could allow a hacker to deliver a malicious group chat message. that will crush the implementation of all team members. To regain use of WhatsApp, users will need to uninstall and reinstall it, and then delete the group containing the message.
Oded Vanunu, Check Point's Product Sensitivity Research Director, said: “Because WhatsApp is one of the top communication channels in the world for consumers, businesses and government services, the ability to stop users from using WhatsApp and delete valuable information from chat groups is a powerful weapon for hackers. All WhatsApp users should update to the latest version application to protect against this possible attack. "
Check Point Research unveiled its findings in the "WhatsApp bug bounty" program on August 28, 2019. WhatsApp recognized the findings and developed a solution to the problem, which is available from version 2.18.5 of WhatsApp. Users should manually apply their devices. "WhatsApp has responded quickly and responsibly to the development of mitigation against exploiting this vulnerability," said Oded Vanunu.
"WhatsApp highly appreciates the work of the technology community to help us maintain strong security for our users worldwide," said WhatsApp Software Engineer Ehren Kret. “Thanks to the responsible submission from Check Point to program for our Bounty programs, we quickly resolved this issue for all WhatsApp applications in mid-September. We've recently added new controls to prevent people from being added to spam groups, in order to avoid communication with all non-trusted parties. ”
The Check Point Research team found the vulnerability by checking communications between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Web, the web version of the app that reflects all messages sent and received by phone of the user. This allowed the researchers to see and manipulate the parameters used in WhatsApp communications. This new research builds on the "FakesApp" flaws discovered by Check Point Research, which allowed them to process group chat messages to spread fake news.
WhatsApp has 1,5 billion users and more than one billion groups, making it the most popular direct messaging application in the world. Over 65 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp per day.