WhatsApp is urging all users to make sure their phones are fully updated with the latest software after a new threat was recently discovered that could put personal information in the hands of hackers. The shock security flaw was found by the team at Check Point with researchers exposing a vulnerability in the popular chat app’s photo options.
According to Check Point, by applying specific filters to a specially crafted image and sending out the resulting photo, a cyber criminal could gain access to personal accounts and read sensitive information from WhatsApp’s memory.
Speaking about the threat, Oded Vanunu, Head of Products Vulnerabilities Research at Check Point: “With over two billion active users, WhatsApp can be an attractive target for attackers. Once we discovered the security vulnerability, we quickly reported our findings to WhatsApp, who was cooperative and collaborative in issuing a fix. The result of our collective efforts is a safer WhatsApp for users worldwide.”
With WhatsApp confirming that an attack could take place and acting quickly to fix the glitch, it’s now vital that all users make sure their phones are fully updated with the latest patches from the Facebook-owned firm.
Speaking about the latest findings from Check Point, WhatsApp added: “We regularly work with security researchers to improve the numerous ways WhatsApp protects people’s messages, and we appreciate the work that Check Point does to investigate every corner of our app. People should have no doubt that end-to-end encryption continues to work as intended and people’s messages remain safe and secure.
“This report involves multiple steps a user would have needed to take and we have no reason to believe users would have been impacted by this bug. That said, even the most complex scenarios researchers identify can help increase security for users.”
To make sure all of your apps are fully updated simply follow the instructions below.
• Open the Google Play Store app
• At the top right, tap the profile icon.
• Tap Manage apps & device. Apps with an update available are labeled • “Update available.” You can also search for a specific app.
• Tap Update.
• Open the App Store.
• Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen.
• Scroll to see pending updates and release notes. Tap Update next to an app to only update that app, or tap Update All.