The owner of WhatsApp, Facebook, has recently warned about its security flaw.
The attackers attempted to execute snooping attack on both the iOS and the Android devices. They do it by exploiting the bug that lets them hide malicious code in the specially crafted MP4 video files. This flaw is classified to be of a critical severity ad it attacks an unknown code block of the MP4 Handler in WhatsApp. This boobytrapped clip can be used in remote code execution assault.
If the victim watches the video, the attackers can run a range of software on the phone, steal the sensitive information like the bank details, or target other people using your phone.
They can also run software which leads to the denial of service (DNS) attack, which in turn stops the victim from using the Internet, WhatsApp or other functions on their phones.
This flaw affects the android users running versions released before 2.19.274 and iOS users running versions released before 2.19.100. To be safe, we would recommend you to update your WhatsApp immediately.
How to protect yourself from being clobbered by hackers?
One way is to switch off auto-download feature for your media files in WhatsApp. Another way is to make sure that no one can send you dodgy videos. The WhatsApp has recently launched the new privacy feature which will stop you from being dragged into the groups you don’t want to be a part of. So starting from today, you get to choose who can add you to groups and who can’t. This helps you block dodgy people and stop your annoying friends from adding you into groups.
The update might be a frivolous feature, but its a great privacy feature because people in groups can see each other’s phone numbers. If you can control who adds you into the groups, then you have another way to protect your identity.
Where to find this feature?
1. Once you’ve updated your WhatsApp go to WhatsApp settings.
2. Scroll to Accounts.
3. Click on Privacy
4. Choose Groups.
5. You can now select who can add you into groups among the three available options. “Everyone” where it would be no different from what it is now or “My contacts” where only the ones in your contacts can add or “My contacts except” where you can exclude people from your contacts especially those annoying and dodgy contacts.
In a statement, WhatsApp wrote: “WhatsApp groups continue to connect family, friends, co-workers, classmates and more. As people turn to groups for essential conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience.
Today we’re introducing the new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups.
With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive.
These privacy features will be rolling out to some users today and will be available worldwide in the coming days to all those using the latest version of WhatsApp.”