Facebook can’t seem to get out of trouble these days—and just when it seemed like calm is settling in, we get to hear of a new security issue. Though, the latest one seem to have been solved by Facebook, it is being reported that WhatsApp, one of the apps owned by the social media behemoth suffered a vulnerability issue last August.
According to ZDnet, WhatsApp has fixed a bug in the Android and iOS versions of its app that gave hackers access to take over the app when answering an incoming video call.
The bug, according to the report, was uncovered by a security researcher Natalie Silvanovich with Google’s Project Zero security research team—and that was back in August. In her exact words, Silvanovich described the vulnerability as a “memory corruption bug in WhatsApp’s non-WebRTC video conferencing implementation.”
In a bug report per ZDnet, Silvanovich added that “Heap corruption can occur when the WhatsApp mobile application receives a malformed RTP packet. This issue can occur when a WhatsApp user accepts a call from a malicious peer.”
The bug, was however, fixed on September 28 for Android, while that of iOS was not dealt with until October 3.
“WhatsApp cares deeply about the security of our users. We routinely engage with security researchers from around the world to ensure WhatsApp remains safe and reliable. We promptly issued a fix to the latest version of WhatsApp to resolve this issue,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said per ZDNet.
While assuring users that no evident suggesting any attack was carried out by hackers in practice, it however, advised that they [users] should consider updating to the latest versions of WhatsApp on iOS and Android.
WhatsApp is used by more than 1.2 billion people across the world, and is ranked as one of the most used apps.
Facts began to emerge in the last few weeks that Facebook had plans to sell ads on WhatsApp before acquisition four years ago. Brian Acton, one of the co-founder of WhatsApp left his position at Facebook in 2017 protesting the changes made by Facebook to the messaging app.
WhatsApp had no intention of selling ads when it was founded in 2009. It was an idea loathed by Brian Acton and Jan Koum—it was not their own idea of earning money.
According to Acton, Facebook had all along planned to share data between platforms. One of many of such plans according to Acton, was to bridge Facebook and WhatsApp accounts of 128-but string which denotes a user’s phone number. According to Acton per TNW, another of such plans was to match phone numbers across platforms to link two accounts.
WhatsApp, one of Facebook’s biggest acquisitions till date recently added three new ways for customers to connect with businesses. There is a shortcut button to allow to initiate a quick conversation, a tool to allow businesses send you information, and a real-time support.