WhatsApp is the largest messaging platform in the world with over 1.3 billion users. Its popularity has not only given it a large userbase but has also attracted malicious actors.
According to a recent report by WABetainfo, some users are receiving what we call text bombs that is making WhatsApp crash on mobile phones and hang incessantly.
The text bomb called ‘Scary Messages’ is causing WhatsApp to crash even when the app is closed and started again.
What’s The Issue?
A text bomb contains a series of texts and characters randomly placed which make no sense. Recently, WABetainfo has tweeted out asking suggestion of a new WhatsApp feature for the app.
A user on Twitter replied with two screenshots and a message that reads: “Anti crash integrated into official WhatsApp: There are messages designed to freeze or crash your WhatsApp. Then there are modded WhatsApp versions that have a ‘Crashcode protection’ like a bigger Unicode database. We need this integrated into the official application.”
WABetainfo posted a reply to this saying “I raised this issue some weeks ago. My followers told me that this is called "Binario", "Contact bombs", "Trava Zap", "Crashers" or simply "message/vcard crash". It's very complicated to explain, but these messages can crash WhatsApp every time you open the app.”
The report says that this anomaly is due to a text bomb which originated in Brazil and has spread to different regions across the globe.
How Does This Affect WhatsApp Users?
When a WhatsApp user clicks on a text bomb, WhatsApp is unable to comprehend the message and then the app crashes and continues to crash on a loop.
Even if you close the app and try to restart, it will not respond as it makes the phone to hang and become unresponsive.
How To Protect Yourself From Text Bombs
As of now, there is no temporary solution to the problem which is why it has been advised not to open any unknown texts on WhatsApp.
Users are also advised to change their privacy settings to make sure they don’t get added to random WhatsApp groups to be exposed to such text bombs.
In order to activate the above privacy setting, go to Settings > Privacy > Group and change to 'Who can add me to groups' from 'Everyone to' to 'My Contacts'.
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