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WhatsApp Bug May Steal Data by Sending a Malicious GIF File

The bug also works for Android 8.1 and Android 9.0 OS but does not work for Android 8.0 and below

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

A security bug has been found in Facebook-owned instant messenger WhatsApp that could let attackers to obtain access to a device and steal data by sending a malicious GIF file.

The danger stems from a double-free bug in WhatsApp, according to a researcher going by the nickname Awakened, The Next Web reported on Wednesday.

A double-free vulnerability is a memory corruption anomaly that could crash an application or open up an exploit vector that attackers can abuse to gain access to users’ device.

According to Awakened’s post on GitHub, the flaw resided in WhatsApp’s Gallery view implementation that is used to generate previews for photographs, videos and GIFs.

facebook, WhatsApp, stories, feature
Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to logos of social media apps Signal, Whatsapp and Telegram projected on a screen in this picture illustration. VOA

All it takes to perform the attack is to craft a malicious GIF, and wait for the user to open the WhatsApp gallery, the report added.

“The exploit works well until WhatsApp version 2.19.230. The vulnerability is officially patched in WhatsApp version 2.19.244,” wrote the researcher.

Also Read: Indiscriminate and Irrational Use of Resources and Exploitation of Environment

The bug also works for Android 8.1 and Android 9.0 OS but does not work for Android 8.0 and below.

In the older Android versions, double-free could still be triggered. However, because of the malloc calls by the system after the double-free, the app just crashes before reaching to the point that we could control the PC register, according to a report in Gizmodo. (IANS)

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Google Maps Allows Android Users to Share Locations Using Plus Codes

The update aims at easy sharing of locations using Plus Codes

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Plus Codes
Android users can now share their location using Plus Codes in Google Maps. Pixabay

Google Maps app for Android has received a new update where users can share their locations using Plus Codes.

Google Maps has the option to show Plus Codes since August 2015. The new change, however, is aimed to expand Plus Codes usage by allowing users to easily share their locations.

A Plus Code is essentially a digital address and it’s derived from latitude and longitude coordinates. It can be generated for any location.

“The technology to generate Plus Codes is also open source, which means the technology is easy and free to use, so anyone can see how the technology works and develop their own applications for any use case,” David Martin, Director of Program Management, Google Maps, said in a statement on Friday.

Users will be able to tap on the blue dot representing their current location and get a Plus Code for it.

Plus Code
Users will be able to tap on the blue dot representing their current location and get a Plus Code for it. Wikimedia Commons

Alternatively, they can long tap on a spot to put a pin on it and get a code for that.

Also Read: Canada Faces Sharpest Downturn in GDP Since 2009

Alongside the Plus Code, the application will also show other options including options to see nearby places, share your location and save your parking.

Once the app shows the Plus Code on the screen, one will be able to copy it just by tapping on it. Now, one will be able to share it among contacts by pasting it on apps like WhatsApp, Messages and more. (IANS)

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Women Dedicating 1/6th of the Day To Social Media, Says Survey

A survey reveals, women spend nearly one-sixth or 4 hours of their day online, which is not work-related

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Women online
This survey is an attempt to understand where the urban Indian women are consuming content and information and the activities that interest her. Pixabay

Women spend nearly one-sixth or 4 hours of their day online, which is not work-related, reveals a survey. Nearly 54 percent of women picked Facebook, followed by 34 percent who said that their platform of choice was Instagram. While these emerge as the most preferred platforms, women are spending maximum time on WhatsApp, said the survey conducted by 80 dB Communications.

A majority of respondents, 67 percent, surveyed are working women, and this could account for their high usage of WhatsApp.

It also found that 60 percent of the respondents are comfortable making friends online with other women while 40 percent did cite their apprehension owing to fake online profiles. More than 40 percent of women said that they discover women having similar interests on social media sites, online forums, and special interest groups.

Women
Women are spending 4 hours of their day online, which is not work-related. Pixabay

“This situation with the global pandemic is unique, unknown, and still unfolding, both in terms of scale and scope. In the last few months, we have used the power of social engagement, research and surveys to assess consumer sentiment to help inform our communication campaigns and create purpose-driven and contextual storytelling for the brands we work with,” said Abhilasha Padhy, Co-Founder, and Joint MD, 80 dB Communications.

Also Read: Facebook to Now Verify People Whose Posts Go Viral Rapidly

“This survey is an attempt to understand where the urban Indian women are consuming content and information and the activities that interest her,” she added. (IANS)

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80% Maharashtra School Students Don’t Report Cybercrimes: Survey

It is also reportes that 33% students deleted content due to which they were targeted for cybercrimes

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cybercrimes
37 per cent of the students revealed that they were affected by some sorts of cybercrimes. Pixabay

At least 80 per cent of school students in Maharashtra aged between 10-17 do not report cybercrimes they face online to their parents, teachers and the police, a new survey revealed on Thursday.

The study done with 1,148 children studying in the 6th-9th standard across 18 schools in Maharashtra, found that 33 per cent students deleted content due to which they were targeted for cybercrimes, while 31 per cent informed their friends about it.

The survey by a non-profit startup Responsible Netism and Cyber Peace Foundation, Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) was conducted between October 2019 to February 2020 to understand internet usage trends of children across Maharashtra.

The research found that 37 per cent of the students revealed that they were affected by some sort of cybercrime including their accounts being hacked, cyberbullying, being threatened online, harassment by strangers and even receiving pornographic content.

“Millions of kids in Maharastra today are being exposed to cybercrimes owing to the ease of access and anonymity that internet offers,” Sonali Patankar, Founder President, Responsible Netism, said in a statement.

Cybercrimes
60 per cent of students faced other Cybercrimes such as cyberstalking, online gambling, etc. Pixabay

“Our research points to the fact that technology companies are not stringently safeguarding the interests of children towards ensuring their cyber wellbeing,” Patankar added.

Also Read: Every 4 in 10 Adults Suffer From Gastrointestinal Disorders Globally: Researchers

The findings showed that at least 60 per cent of students faced other crimes such as cyberstalking, online gambling, body shaming, added to inappropriate groups online, threatened online, etc.

According to the study, 46 per cent of the students revealed that they were dependent addicted to their devices (phones, tablets, computers) and it affected their studies. The report also revealed that Whatsapp and Tiktok are the two most-used apps by children in the state while PUBG and GTA are the most popular online games amongst children. (IANS)