Malicious GIFs On WhatsApp Can Hack Your Phone Gallery: Here’s How


GIFs are one of the most interesting elements when it comes to online chat as it makes your conversation funny and interesting. Online instant messaging app WhatsApp also have the feature of sending and receiving GIFs. You must have used this feature very often but what if we will tell you that these GIFs can help hackers breach your privacy. Yes, you read it correctly, according to the latest report from The Next Web a new vulnerability has been found by a security researcher on WhatsApp running on Android.

Malicious GIFs On WhatsApp Can Hack Your Phone Gallery: Here’s How


These malicious GIFs will allow hackers to get access to your media sending. The person behind discovering the WhatsApp vulnerability is named as Awakened. In his blog post, he wrote, "I'm going to share about a double-free vulnerability that I discovered in WhatsApp for Android, and how I turned it into an RCE. I informed this to Facebook. Facebook acknowledged and patched it officially in WhatsApp version 2.19.244. Facebook helped to reserve CVE-2019-11932 for this issue."

The double-free bug is a memory corruption error which is capable of crashing apps and allows hackers to break into the security of the affected device. All they have to do is to send the malicious GIF file to user via WhatsApp, the moment it is opened in the WhatsApp gallery the user is trapped in the bait.

According to the researcher, the attack can be done in two ways. First, it can be installed on the Android device by sending malicious GIFs. "One of them could be as Document via WhatsApp (i.e. pressing the Paper Clip button and choose Document to send the corrupted GIF)," he added. "If the attacker is in the contact list of the user (i.e. a friend), the corrupted GIF is downloaded automatically without any user interaction."

In his blog, the security researcher suggested that users must update their WhatsApp to the latest version if they want to avoid the malicious attack.

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