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If you use WhatsApp on iOS or Android, it’s strongly recommended that you update the app as soon as possible.
That’s due to a security vulnerability in both versions of the WhatsApp platform that could allow attackers to crash the app and even hack your iPhone or Android, according to a new report by Google Zero security researcher Natalie Silvanovich.
The bug is activated when a WhatsApp user receives what’s called a “malformed RTP packet,” which triggers a memory corruption flaw in the iOS and Android versions of the app. Such a packet could be sent with a simple WhatsApp phone call, she told The Register.
While Silvanovich did not indicate whether or not the vulnerability could be used to execute malicious code or otherwise exploited to hack a device, another Google security researcher called the bug a “big deal” that could “completely comprise” the app.
Luckily, the security vulnerability has been patched in the latest version of WhatsApp for both iOS and Android. That app update is currently available to all users from the App Store or Google Play.
The security researcher reportedly discovered the bug in August, but held back publishing any details until a fix was released.
Because of the apparent severity of the bug, you should update your version of WhatsApp on all of your iOS and Android devices as soon as possible.
It isn’t currently clear whether or not the WhatsApp desktop client is also impacted by the bug. But until that is confirmed one way or another, it’s best to approach random calls cautiously.
This isn’t the first time in recent months that a serious WhatsApp vulnerability has been discovered. Back in August, researchers found a bug that allowed hackers to edit the content and sender of a message even after it has been received by a user.