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Long emoji message can cause the mobile WhatsApp app to crash on an Android phone

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Long emoji message can cause the mobile WhatsApp app to crash on an Android phone
A security researcher by the name of Indrajeet Bhuyan has discovered that there is a way for someone with evil on their mind, to crash the mobile WhatsApp app on other people's phones. This happens when someone using the web version of WhatsApp sends a message containing at least 5000 emoji to another subscriber using the mobile app. The latter will crash if it receives such a message, shutting down the app. Deleting the message history and re-opening the conversation is the only way to continue using the app after it crashes.

There are some interesting aspects to this. One, the problem affects only Android users of the app. Secondly, WhatsApp does have a character limit of 6000. But at that number, it isn't able to block malicious users from sending an app-crashing message.

This vulnerability is the perfect sneak attack. Because the message that sets off the crashing of the mobile app is also destroyed in the process, there is no evidence that can be used to accuse someone of setting off the crash.

Facebook closed on its acquisition of WhatsApp in October 2014, and the final purchase price came to more than $21 billion. We wouldn't be surprised to see Facebook push out a patch that closes this exploit.

Thanks for the tip!

source: Independent

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posted on 09 Jan 2016, 22:06 9

1. buccob (Posts: 2732; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Brace yourselves trolls with malicious crashing messages incoming...
Also trolls saying iOS is better cause of this are also coming

posted on 09 Jan 2016, 22:12 7

3. Gorilla (Posts: 39; Member since: 25 Jul 2015)

Wow, someone went through all that effort to discover that sending 5000 emojis can crash your app.
All in the name of security I guess.

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 02:22 1

8. SameerNazir (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Dec 2015)

Well i dont wanna brag bt we used to do it on friends like a year ago.

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 08:03

12. Awaragardiyan (unregistered)

same here

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 02:33

9. Gemmol (Posts: 792; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

Can't crash if you did it on Windows phone

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 03:40 3

10. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

Who the hell is actually going to send 5000 emoji? Not a serious issue, at all.
Besides, have you seen the "stability" of W10 Mobile?! Homescreen crashes, screenshots failing, 4K video record failing, apps crashing, whole phone boots itself for no reason etc. There are better nightly Android ROMs in terms of reliability.

posted on 10 Jan 2016, 07:45

11. iusshpandeh (Posts: 250; Member since: 23 Jul 2014)

I got Lumia 950XL a week ago! It was shipped with the first build which earlier lumia 950xl had. But, I didn't find any crashes or failuers to capture 4K; but I had lots of Loading.... Screen! I don't know what type of device these tech reviewer got! Because my father's and sister's 950 had none of the issue Michael Fisher mentioned in his review! Even Loading screen is fixed with recent update! The only problem is that I am unable to hide nav bar on some WinPhone 8 apps!

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