May 19, 2022

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Criminals may use WhatsApp filter to steal personal information

Criminals may use WhatsApp filter to steal personal information

Mexico City. – The WhatsAppCheck Point Research (CPR), a cybersecurity solutions company, has revealed that the messaging app, which has more than 2 billion active users, has a vulnerability that allows cybercriminals to access sensitive information in the platform’s memory,

photo filter function

The origin of the vulnerability goes back to WhatsApp’s image filtering feature, a process by which pixels in the original image are modified to achieve some visual effect, such as opacity or sharpness.

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During its research study, CPR found that switching between different filters in crafted GIFs actually caused WhatsApp to crash. In this sense, CPR has identified one of these blocks as memory impairment.

CPR quickly reported the issue to WhatsApp, which has called the CVE-2020-1910 vulnerability, and described it in detail as a read-write issue. In order for a cybercriminal to exploit this flaw, they must submit an image that has been processed using this type of filter.

It is estimated that more than 55,000 million messages are sent daily via WhatsApp, and 4,500 million photos and 1 billion videos are shared daily.

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“With more than two billion active users, WhatsApp can be an attractive target for cybercriminals. Once we discovered the vulnerability, we quickly communicated our findings to WhatsApp, which were instrumental in releasing a solution. The result of our collective efforts was even more,” says Oded Vanunu, Head of Research. Product vulnerabilities in Check Point, “Securing WhatsApp for Users Worldwide.”

The community should have no doubt that end-to-end encryption continues to work and that user messages remain secure. We have no reason to believe that users have been affected by this bug. However, even the most complex scenarios identified by researchers can help increase user security.”

“As with any technology product, we recommend that users keep their apps and operating systems up to date, download updates as they become available, report suspicious messages and contact us if they have issues using WhatsApp.”

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