Two India based independent security researchers, Indrajeet Bhuyan and
Saurav Kar, both 17-year old teenagers demonstrated the WhatsApp Message
Handler vulnerability to one of our security analyst.
In a video demonstration, they showed that by sending a 2000 words (2kb in size) message in special character set can crash the receiver’s app. The worried impact of the vulnerability is that the user who received the specially crafted message will have to delete his/her whole conversation and start a fresh chat, because opening the message keeps on crashing WhatsApp unless the chat is deleted completely.
“What makes it more serious is that one needs to delete entire chat with the person they are chatting to in order to get back whatsapp work in normal,” Bhuyan told THN in an e-mail.
According to the duo, the reported vulnerability has been tested and successfully works on most of the versions of Android Operating system including Jellybean, Kitkat, and all the below android versions.
Similarly, Any member of your WhatsApp group could intentionally send a specially crafted message to exit people from the group and delete the group. Also, for example, if I don’t want someone to keep records of my chat with them, then I can also send the same message exploit to the person.
The vulnerability has not been tested on iOS, but it is sure that all versions of WhatsApp including 2.11.431 and 2.11.432 are affected with this bug. Also the attack does not work on Windows 8.1.
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