WhatsApp fixes security bug that let hackers take over with a GIF

A spokesperson for the Facebook-owned WhatsApp says the company has fixed a security vulnerability that let hackers take control of the messaging app by way of a malicious GIF.

"We have no reason to believe this affected any users, though of course we are always working to provide the latest security features to our users," a WhatsApp spokesperson told CNN Business.

Jordan Valinsky at CNN Business reports:

The hack could be triggered when a user opened a malicious GIF in their gallery. After the GIF was opened, the app's contents could have been exploited, revealing previous chat history.

Devices running Android 8.1 and 9 could have been susceptible to the hack. A researcher called Awakened discovered the vulnerability and wrote about it in a blog post last week.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook (FB), released a patch last month, though it said it's unlikely anyone was actually hacked using the technique Awakened revealed.

WhatsApp had a bug that let hackers take over phones with a GIF