Security Flaw threatens 200 Million Whatsapp for Web Users

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WhatsApp has been accessible via the web for quite some time now. While you can only access WhatsApp on the web when your mobile phone is also connected to the internet, it makes for a handy application most of the time especially if your life revolves around the desktop. WhatsApp, which was in 2014 acquired by Facebook for a staggering $19 Billion has an estimated 900 million users with 200 million users using the WhatsApp for web feature.

For the most part, besides casual chatting, there hasn’t been much in the way of controls that users could tinker with to enhance their experience on the web platform. In July,  WhatsApp rolled out a new server side update that introduced critical features  previously not available. Like the ability to change your WhatsApp profile picture, delete and archive individual chats and even manage your coveted groups.

BBC reports that a bug was discovered on the web platform of the service putting the security of the 200 million users at risk.  The security flaw allows hackers to distribute malware  as well as ransomeware before demanding payment to restore the services to users. The vulnerability was attributed to the way the Whatsapp handles  in virtual card format for the web platform. Hackers can easily send a virtual card that looks legitimate to a targeted mobile number and once opened the malicious code is distributed. Whatsapp has since fixed the issue, initially reported in August and users are urged to update the WhatsApp for web to deal with the vulnerability.

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