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WhatsApp Finds and Fixes Targeted Attack Bug

May 14, 2019 / Phil Muncaster

WhatsApp is urging its global users to update their app after fixing a serious remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability which was being exploited in a highly targeted attack, potentially by a nation state. The Facebook-owned mobile comms giant, which has over 1.5 billion users, rolled out a fix on Friday for the buffer overflow vulnerability in WhatsApp VOIP stack. It claimed the flaw allowed RCE “via specially crafted series of SRTCP packets sent to a target phone number.” In effect, this means a user could be infected with the spyware payload simply by being phoned by the attacker. They don’t even have to pick up. “The issue affects WhatsApp for Android prior to v2.19.134, WhatsApp Business for Android prior to v2.19.44, WhatsApp for iOS prior to v2.19.51, WhatsApp Business for iOS prior to v2.19.51, WhatsApp for Windows Phone prior to v2.18.348, and WhatsApp for Tizen prior to v2.18.15,” a technical note revealed.