A single WhatsApp message can destroy your group chats

Security researchers have discovered that a single text message can destroy your group chats inside WhatsApp.

The flaw, present on both Android and iOS, causes WhatsApp to crash and forces users to reinstall the app. Affected group chats must be deleted to prevent the “crash-loop” from happening again.

But there’s good news: WhatsApp has already fixed the issue, so all you need to do is update to the latest version of the app.

WhatsApp has become one of the most popular messaging platforms on the planet, with more than 1.5 billion users worldwide. So when researchers discover a serious flaw, it can affect a lot of people.

The latest doesn’t put your data at risk, but it will cause havoc for your group chats.

WhatsApp flaw leaves group chats vulnerable

The “defect,” discovered by Check Point researchers, “allows a bad actor to deliver a destructive group chat message that produces a swift and complete crash of the entire application for all members of the group chat.”

The crash renders WhatsApp unusable, so users are forced to delete the app and reinstall it again. And opening the same group chat again will throw you back into another “crash-loop.”

The only solution is delete the group chat entirely and start a new one. That means the chat history is permanently wiped out for all users.

Fortunately, there is a fix.

Update WhatsApp today

Check Point disclosed this issue to WhatsApp before making it public, and a fix is already available. Simply ensure you have the latest version of the app installed on Android and iOS and you’re immune to the flaw.

You should be running WhatsApp version 2.19.120 or later. You can check this by opening WhatsApp, tapping the Settings button, then tapping Help. The version number is displayed at the top of the screen.