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Indian researchers have discovered a flaw in WhatsApp that allows anyone to remotely crash the popular mobile app by sending a specially crafted message.
A âniceâ vulnerability has been discovered in the popular messaging app WhatsAppÂ that could be exploited by an attacker toÂ remotely crash the mobile app just by sending a specially crafted message. The news was reported byÂ two Indian security researchers that contacted the colleagues at âThe Hacker Newsâ.
The two India basedÂ researchers, Indrajeet Bhuyan and Saurav Kar, are very young, they are both 17-year old teenagers and have reproduced the exploitation of the vulnerability inÂ the WhatsApp Message Handler.
TheHackersNews portalÂ has published a video PoC in which is demonstrated thatÂ by sending a 2000 words (2kb in size) message in a special character set is possible to cause the crash of the WhatsApp recipientsâ app.
As explained by the researchers, the bug in the WhatsApp is really worrying because in order to restore a normal operation, the targeted user will have to delete hisÂ whole conversation and start a newÂ chat session. This anomalous behavior is caused by the presence of the malicious message within the chat messages that will cause the WhatsApp crash unless the chat is deleted completely.
The serious flaw affectsÂ most of the Android versions currently available on the market including Jellybean, Kitkat, and all the below android versions.
AlsoÂ WhatsApp groups are seriously impacted by the vulnerability, an attackersÂ could intentionally send a specially crafted message to exit people from the group and delete the group. Just by sending a specially crafted messageÂ is possible to avoid that a member of the group maintainsÂ trace of attackerâ chat with him, because the message will cause the crash of the targets.
The Indian researchers still havenât massively tested the flaw in iOS version of WhatsApp, meanwhileÂ the attack doesnât work on Windows 8.1.