WhatsApp has addressed a vulnerability in the mobile applications that could have been exploited by attackers to crash victims instant messaging app simply by placing a call.
The vulnerability is a memory heap overflow issue that was discovered by Google Project Zero white hat hacker Natalie Silvanovich in August.
Memory corruption bug in WhatsApp's non-WebRTC video conferencing implementation https://t.co/5sCmNznh4P
— Natalie Silvanovich (@natashenka) October 9, 2018
Whatsapp has fixed the flaw on September 28 and Silvanovich published the technical details of the vulnerability.
The news of the flaw was also shared by popular Google researcher and bug hunter Tavis Ormandy.
This is a big deal. Just answering a call from an attacker could completely compromise WhatsApp. https://t.co/vjHuWt8JYa
— Tavis Ormandy (@taviso) October 9, 2018
The exploitation of the flaw was very trivial, a malformed RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) packet sent to a user, a call request, could have been used to trigger the memory heap overflow and cause the crash of the application.
“This issue can occur when a WhatsApp user accepts a call from a malicious peer. It affects both the Android and iPhone clients.” reads the report published by Silvanovich.
An attacker could completely hijack a target’s WhatsApp account and spy on its conversations by simply video calling it.
Silvanovich published the proof-of-concept in the security advisory.
(Security Affairs – instant messaging, hacking)