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Instagram: Error crashes the app and allows espionage

Instagram

The Facebook corrected one critical vulnerability on Instagram. The vulnerability could be exploited by hackers for code execution remotely, for crashing of the application and for breach of their camera and microphone smartphones for the purpose of espionage.

Facebook, the owner of Instagram, was informed about vulnerability from Check Point months ago. As mentioned above, the vulnerability has been identified as critical and is related to Instagram image management.

Vulnerability is called CVE-2020-1895 and has received a score of 7,8 on the CVSS scale. Facebook explained that this is a "heap overflow issue".

"The heap overflow issue could happen on Instagram for Android during the process of uploading an image with specially made dimensions. This problem affects versions before 128.0.0.26.128", He says Facebook.

"From a technical point of view, the problem is caused by sending a large image, while the application is deceived and thinks that it is much smaller", Said Check Point.

Check Point security investigators said sending a malicious image was enough for the attacker to take control of an Instagram account. The attack is activated as soon as the malicious image is sent and stored on the victim's device. The image can be sent via e-mail, WhatsApp, SMS or any other communication platform.

If the user save the image and then open Instagram, the malicious code will be executed.

The issue has to do with how Instagram handles third-party image libraries. Specifically, Check Point focused on Mozjpeg, an open source JPEG decoder developed by Mozilla and was used by Instagram to handle image uploads.

The image may contain a payload that leverages Instagram's extensive list of permissions, giving attackers access to "any resource on the phone that has been pre-approved by Instagram."

This means that the attacker can gain access to the victim's contacts, in data location / GPS, the camera and locally stored files. As for the application itself, the vulnerability could allow it block instant messages and read them, delete and publish photos without permission and change application settings.

"Exploiting the vulnerability could crash the Instagram app and deny the user access to the application", Said the researchers. Users may need to delete Instagram and reinstall it to gain access. This causes problems, because the users may lose important data.

According to ZDNet, this vulnerability was revealed in Facebook months ago and corrected in the spring. The researchers wanted to give the platform time to fix the bug and users to install the updates before the public revelation.

"We have fixed the error and have not seen it data to prove that it has been used", Said Facebook. "We are grateful for Check Point's help in keeping Instagram secure".

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