WhatsApp is by far the most widely used instant messaging platform worldwide. This is why the Facebook-owned platform becomes prone to any particular form of cyber attacks or malicious threat and has the potential to affect 2 billion people globally.
Seeing this as a great opportunity, malicious actors constantly employe various tactics to break into WhatsApp. Now, there has popped up a new threat that can continually crash the popular messaging platform both on iPhone and Android handsets.
It is a series of crash codes or text bombs in the form of normal texts and VCards aka Virtual Card which seems to be containing a random string of strange characters and are ending up causing WhatsApp to end up in a constant loop of crashes.
Victims who fall prey to this attack stand to lose their chat history as they might need to completely uninstall WhatsApp and then reinstall it back again.
Now when it comes to how these dangerous codes are spreading, the answer is online forums. WABetaInfo – a credible source which often publishes insider news about the app – is currently advising WhatsApp users to not resort to sending them on to friends, family or other contacts even as a joke.
Young users should especially take note of this as they are more likely to start a domino effect which can easily lead to this threat spreading across the humongous global user base of WhatsApp.
Ray Walsh who is a digital privacy expert explained that once the coded message is received, the WhatsApp quickly follows to crashing, and nothing short of installing the app all over again seems to be fixing the issue.
Additionally, he also mentioned that these text bombs have been identified to have originated in Brazil, however, is currently proceeding to spread globally at a rapid pace. That being said, all is not lost.
There are a few steps you can take to make sure your WhatsApp account, as well as your chat history, is protected.
Let’s take a look at them below.
Measures To Safeguard Your WhatsApp Account
If you remain vigilant enough, you can surely stay away from these nasty text bombs. It might not be 100% foolproof however it will significantly reduce the risks for sure.
Firstly, make sure you are limiting the number of people who can add you to groups. This will not let strangers get to you with these encoded messages.
In order to do this, you need to head to WhatsApp settings then tap on the privacy section and then change the ‘Groups’ settings to your contacts so that only people whom you trust can add you to a group.
In the unfortunate event of having received this malicious crash code make sure you log into the web version of WhatsApp aka ‘Whatspp Web’ and then block and report the person who sent you this message first.
It might prove to be a little tricky as your app will be in the constant state of crashing in a loop however you need to make sure you are somehow able to scan the QR code using the WhatsApp mobile app. This will make sure the bad actor’s account gets banned as fast as it can.
As of now, there’s no other recovery option but to reinstall the app. Facebook which is WhatsApp’s parent company has been reached out to for a comment however they haven’t responded to any media queries yet. We will keep you updated on future developments. Until then, stay tuned.