Technology with attitude

WhatsApp Rolls Out a Fix for a Dangerous Bug in the Web Client

0

WhatsApp is a globally renowned messaging application that recently went from being a mobile-only platform to supporting other platforms such as PCs, web browsers and tablets.

WhatsApp Web is the name of the web client that the users of WhatsApp need, in order to access their messages via a PC or tablet’s web browser. This application was launched at the beginning of this year and even though it had a slow start thanks to the fact that it only supported a limited number of services; it has now managed to spread to over 200 million WhatsApp users.

During its initial stages, WhatsApp Web was only accessible via the Chrome browser. What this meant was that in case you were using Firefox, Safari or Opera, you had to add another browser to your PC just for WhatsApp Web purposes. This did not, however, last long, as the company added two other browsers to the platform – Firefox and Opera. The story has been the same as more and more browsers are coming into play, with the latest being Microsoft Edge.

Another problem that affected the spread of WhatsApp Web was that it supported only the Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Nokia Symbian operating systems. There was no room for iOS and at that time, Facebook cited “Apple platform limitations” as the major cause for the platform’s omission. Nonetheless, the iPhone was secretly added to the platform in a recent update and now, the users of this Apple-based device can access WhatsApp Web on their PCs without the need of jailbreaking their phones.

WhatsApp Web bug that gives hackers control of victims’ PCs has been fixed

Just recently, it was discovered that there is a WhatsApp Web bug that could easily let an unauthorized person gain access to your PC and actually oust you from it. The flaw which was highlighted by security firm Check Point was in line to affect more than 200 million people who use this web client.

To carry out this attack, a hacker sends a vCard message encrypted with malicious code to your WhatsApp number. When you open this message, the encrypted malicious code will start to decrypt itself and distribute in your PC, giving the hacker feedback he/she intends. The executable file will install on your system and the hacker can start doing anything with your personal data, including locking you out of your own system.

WhatsApp Web 0.1.4481 fixes the bug

As noted above, the main thing that a hacker needs to carry out this attack is your phone number. As we all know, there are numerous channels through which your phone number can get leaked to the world out there, so hackers getting it won’t be a problem in some instances.

The good thing is that WhatsApp has been very swift to respond to Check Point’s discovery and there is already a new version of WhatsApp Web 0.1.4481 that comes in with fixes to this bug.