Hackers can use a WhatsApp video call to hack your phone

Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19bn

However, recently Google security researcher Natalie Silvanovich found a flaw in WhatsApp's security that allowed hackers to hijack the app and ultimately your account when a user answer an incoming video call.

According to Silvanovich's report, the bug is triggered when a user receives a malformed RTP packet, triggering the corruption error and crashing the application. The vulnerability risked the Android and iOS WhatsApp users at risk when using video calls on the app. Only the mobile users, both iOS and Android had the bug.

The way this security flaw worked was that hackers could send malformed Real-Time Transport Protocol packets which would open when the victim answered the video call. The researcher has explained the bug as a "memory corruption bug in WhatsApp's non-WebRTC video conferencing implementation". It was detected by Google Project Zero Cybersecurity experts, way back in August, but it was only fixed earlier this month, reported ZDNet.

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While the PoC outlined in the bug report only causes the app to crash, it could have been modified to further compromise WhatsApp. The WhatsApp for Web client was unaffected since it uses WebRTC for video conferencing. The company fixed the same on September 28 in the Android client and on October 3 in the iPhone client. The messaging company said in a statement to ZDNet that it "cares deeply about the security of our users". So users who rely on WhatsApp for video calls, and daily messages, should ideally make sure the app has been updated to the latest version in order to ensure these are not impacted by the problem.

A WhatsApp employee familiar with dealing of the issue said there was no evidence that hackers actually exploited the bug to launch attacks. It works with security researchers around the world to ensure that the service "remains safe and reliable". The company has already released the latest update, so it's highly recommended that you update your WhatsApp to the latest version as soon as possible.

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