Hackers invent a way to hack WhatsApp accounts via gifs

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — A security expert has discovered a flaw on WhatsApp through which hackers have the opportunity to get access to smartphones via gifs. The most advanced versions of Android are the most affected.

A new vulnerability on WhatsApp that could give access to a smartphone through gifs was detected by a security expert known as Awakened.

According to what this specialist describes on his blog, a user can receive a malicious gif file sent by a hacker. While the person opens it, hackers can insert into the operating system and retrieve photos, videos and personal data.

In addition, modified gifs, when uploaded to an image gallery, corrupt the smartphone’s memory and block the opening of any other application. If a victim has a hacker among his contacts, the malicious gif will be automatically downloaded.

According to the expert, the flaw was discovered in the mechanism of creating previews in the gallery of images and gifs. He also noted that the vulnerability concerns smartphones running Android 8.1 and 9.0.

In earlier versions, it exists but the process hangs when the hacker is about to take control of the phone.

The specialist said he had reported this problem to the Facebook company, owner of WhatsApp, and that a correction had been made in the latest version of the application.

Wishing to warn the users of this flaw, Awakened advised them to update WhatsApp on smartphones of version 2.19.244 minimum.


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