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The GIF that will make your WhatsApp hackable

Jessica Yun
Android user? Update your WhatsApp. (Source: Getty)
Android user? Update your WhatsApp. (Source: Getty)

WhatsApp users are being told to update their messaging app to protect themselves from a security flaw that would allow one malicious GIF to make all their WhatsApp data accessible.

It would only take the attacker sending a GIF to an unsuspecting victim, which would see the image automatically downloaded to the victim’s gallery.

Once the gallery is opened up, the attack can be triggered, leaving the door open for cyber criminals to access the victim’s WhatsApp messages, photos, files, and videos.

The security flaw was raised to Facebook by an anonymous Singapore-based ‘technologist’ and ‘information security enthusiast’ who calls themselves ‘Awakened’.

Facebook has since patched the flaw, but you’ll have to update to the latest version to protect yourself.

“Facebook acknowledged and patched it officially in WhatsApp version 2.19.244,” Awakened said in a blog post.

“WhatsApp users, please do update to latest WhatsApp version (2.19.244 or above) to stay safe from this bug.”

According to Awakened’s post, it appears the flaw only affects Android users.

To update your WhatsApp app, visit the Play store, hit menu, ‘My apps & games’, and hit Update for WhatsApp.

As far as Whatsapp knows, no users have been affected by the bug.

This issue was reported and quickly addressed,” a spokesperson told The Sun.

“We have no reason to believe this affected any users though of course we are always working to provide the latest security features to our users.”

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