WhatsApp is an amazing application, becoming extremely popular in the past years, but it doesn’t run flawlessly and the developers are continuously working on improving especially the Android version, which receives new updates more frequently than the other platforms. One of the biggest issues in WhatsApp is that the application can crash if the users are sending long emoji-filled messages, as a researcher has discovered.
This vulnerability not only crashes the application, but phones as well, according to the researcher and he explained how this issue can damage devices, if the users make the mistake to use too many emoji characters.
It is less known that the web version of the application allows the users to send messages that contain up to 5,000 emoji, but if the recipient is using a mobile device and he/she tries to open the message, then the application will crash and inevitably, it will shut down. The users are forced to delete the message history and reopen the conversation, otherwise they are no longer able to continue to use the application.
Some users manage to send up to 6,000 messages, until the app starts to slow down, but the recommended limit is 4,500 messages. The problem is that the application used by over a billion people (unconfirmed) and more of them are accessing their accounts from an Android device, so this platform is even more vulnerable to crashes, while the iOS users are not facing serious issues. In their case, the application doesn’t crash it entirely.
Indrajeet Bhuyan is the researcher that said that this vulnerability could be used by people who send messages containing important information, then get rid of the evidence that the message was ever sent. He wrote on a post that “Let’s suppose an attacker has sent an abusive message or he is blackmailing a victim” and “Now, the victim cannot show the message as proof because once the victim receives the smiley […], the entire chat with the attacker would crash and the victim won’t be able to open it.”
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