WhatsApp struggling with the hacker threat. A ‘hole’ in the filter function of images sent with the app may have exposed users to the threat of hackers, giving them the ability to steal and read sensitive information. This was revealed by the ‘Threat Intelligence’ division of Check Point Software Technologies which discovered this rooted flaw in the function to create filters to images. The process that creates the filters is such that the pixels of the original image are modified to achieve some visual effects, such as blur or sharpness.
During the analysis, the Check Point experts found that a switch of the filters on the images could lead to WhatsApp crash and memory compromise. Elements that a hacker could have exploited by applying specific filters to a specially created image and then sending it with the changes.
The company disclosed its findings to WhatsApp in November 2020, and app managers have verified and acknowledged the security issue, providing with an already distributed Security Advisory update. However, Whatsapp specifies that there is no “reason to believe that users have been affected by this bug”.