A pair of texts sent to WhatsApp can cause the app and your Android device to crash

A couple of text messages sent to WhatsApp can crash the messaging app, or even an entire Android phone. These text messages have hidden symbols between spaces. When a WhatsApp user taps on part of either message, the hidden symbols expand, overwhelming WhatsApp and the Android OS. That causes the app and/or the phone to go down.

One message is a simple text in quotations that reads "This is very interesting," with the "laughing so much I'm crying" emoji. The hidden symbols are between the emoji and the quotation mark.  The second message tells you exactly what will happen if you tap on a black dot that is part of the message. "If you touch this black dot then your WhatsApp will hang," says the text, which includes a finger pointing to the dot. And like an itch that needs to be scratched, of course most people will tap on it. Converting that text to html reveals the control character "&rlm:" repeated over, and over, and over again (see the slideshow below and the video at the top of this story).

Let's say you're writing in English, which goes from left to right, and want to add a word in Hebrew, which goes from right to left. The control character tells the system that the alignment of the next word is going to be different. Having that repeated over and over and over again is enough to make a phone blow its mind.

Until WhatsApp takes care of this matter, which should take a few days at most, your best bet is to take that social media holiday you've been thinking about. Or, you can use another messaging app.

source: Reddit, ScoopWhoop



6. Anchor

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 16, 2017

Thanks for the explanation, I was thinking of meeting with my village Chief Priest

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4410; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Android copying iOS again... Sheesh...

4. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Need to copy paste it, need specific apps to work, need other people to click it.. Can't they make things simpler, like sending one character that freeze the whole OS by simply display it? /s

3. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

This is not limited to WhatsApp but any app that interprets that code. It would crash Viber, Telegram, Signal, etc. Weirdly enough not Chrome

1. Phonehex

Posts: 773; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Not even close the fun iPhone crashes by a single letter.

2. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

This is a minor bug and doesn't expose any security concerns. The guy who found it even explained how it works.

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