Recently it has found that certain forward messages being circulated on WhatsApp are crashing the app globally on Android and iOS, and are also freezing smartphones in some cases. This WhatsApp message is crashing Android include invisible special characters, which are responsible for the issue.
How this WhatsApp message is crashing Android and iPhone users’ smartphones globally?
WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAUs) globally, who are exchanging nearly 60 billion messages on a single day. Messages shared on WhatsApp are protected with end-to-end encryption.
However, some bugs make their way into the app. WhatsApp is now affected by two bugs which cause the app to crash or even one’s phone altogether. This spam WhatsApp message is crashing Android and iPhone users’ smartphones globally.
These messages allegedly include hidden symbols, which are responsible for the app or phone crash. The messages are written in a plain and simple text together with emojis which is what makes it difficult for the users to identify if it’s a normal message or a bug.
The mischievous are using these hidden special characters to misguide the WhatsApp users. While looking at the messages for the first time it will look like any other normal message and not a spam.
The difference will be notified only after you tap on the message that your WhatsApp app may crash or freeze. There seem to be two variants of this WhatsApp message being forwarded. In some cases, these bugs may crash the complete Android or iOS system, after which you may need to restart your device, as per the news report.
How the first bug of WhatsApp message is crashing Android?
# The first bug is more straightforward and challenges users to test it means it comes with a warning on what will happen if you tap on it which enhance the curiosity of the users.
# The message reads, “If you touch the (emoji) black dot then your WhatsApp will hang”. There is indeed a black dot just below the message which is said to crash the app if tapped on, in some cases, it freezes the app. This bug is markedly affecting only Android users.
# Means if you touch the dot the app stops responding for a few moments. You can simply press the home button, come out of WhatsApp and remove it from the recent apps screen to continue.
# It’s not a malware though, just a smart coding trick. The unresponsiveness of such messaging clients is basically caused by sending unrecognized symbols.
Why and what is the cause of this black dot bug?
#The HTML expansion of the message reveals why it does. The text has a repeated use of “&rlm” which is a control character used for alignment purposes.
# To understand the bug, you need to know some languages that are written from right to left, while some are written from left to right, like Persian.
# The message client needs to reflect that when there is a language switch. This switch scrambles the alignment. The “&rlm” character does the same for WhatsApp. The repeated use of this character in this message overloads your Android smartphone.
How the second bug of WhatsApp message is crashing Android?
# The second bug is hidden in a message. Another “message bomb” which is causing the messaging platform to crash is more “nefarious, looks too innocent” and does not come with a warning.
# The spam messages read – “This is very interesting,” with the “laughing so much I’m crying” emoji.
# This message has no indication of containing anything malicious. Tapping on “Read More” freezes the app.
# The message includes special characters that do not display visibly but are used to change text behavior.
# The message although looks like a plain text, includes hidden symbols between the emoji and a quotation mark at the end of the sentence.
# The invisible symbols are responsible for the freeze, crash of the app or the phone.
# This bug works on both Android and iOS platforms. The link for this bug is currently available on Pastebin and can be copied and sent to WhatsApp users.
As per the report, these WhatsApp messages are nothing but prank and there seem to be nothing malicious about them. However, I’d like to inform all users that if you receive any such buggy messages on WhatsApp it’s better to not click on such messages and simply ignore them by deleting it.
If you receive such messages, the best idea is to delete it. You should also inform other WhatsApp contacts to not click on such messages stating the reason why the WhatsApp message is crashing Android. Also, avoid forwarding such messages to others. Avoiding is better than experimenting with such spam messages.