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This WhatsApp Hack Let’s People See Your Conversation, Here’s How To Stop It

WhatsApp users should be on alert after researchers unearthed another security flaw inside the app. This flaw can be triggered by sending an animated GIF on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp first added support for these looping animations back in 2017. But now hackers have found a way to use these looping animations to take control of your smartphone and read all of your texts.

The latest bug, which only impacts Android handsets, could enable hackers to steal files that are saved on your smartphone, or view a complete chat history on compromised Android devices.Thankfully, there are some easy fixes to keep yourself safe from this security risk.

The GIF attack only works on older versions of Android – 8.1 Oreo launched in August 2017, while 9.0 Pie debuted one year later – because it requires an older version of the WhatsApp software. If you’ve been putting off the upgrade to a newer version of Android, like the recently-released Android 10, then this could be the push you need. So, if you update your Android handset to the latest version of Android and then let the Google Play Store update all of your apps you should be just fine.

Update Your WhatsApp

But what if you can’t update your Android smartphone itself? Well, thankfully there is still a way to avoid hackers tacking control of your smartphone (and don’t worry, it doesn’t involve your banning all GIFs from group chats).

WhatsApp has patched the vulnerability in version 2.19.244 or newer.

So, if you’re running an older version of the app (you can find out what version you’re rocking in your Google Play Store app) then it’s definitely worth downloading anything newer than 2.19.244.

Thankfully, Facebook – which owns WhatsApp – doesn’t believe the issue has affected any of its other messaging services, including its own Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

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