WhatsApp is the world's largest cross-platform messaging application used by billions of users worldwide. Even the slightest inconvenience or a bug cannot go unnoticed and that's exactly what happened when a series of "crash codes" went viral and crashed the app on Android and iOS platforms.
WhatsApp users across the globe complained of the app continuously crashing or freezing. This is a result of messages that are usually long and written using special characters. Upon receiving such messages, WhatsApp is unable to decode or process the message - hence crashes indefinitely.
According to WABetaInfo, malicious messages are also being sent in the form of virtual cards or vcards. Once the user opens the vcard, the app crashes. This is due to a long and weird name containing a crash code in over 100 associated contacts in the vcard. The Payload injected into the altered vcard is what crashes WhatsApp.
What should users do?
Naturally, it can be annoying to find your primary messaging app crash unexpectedly. But there's a temporary solution to this.
Firstly, it is important to set the group privacy settings right. Under WhatsApp Settings, go to Privacy and change the Groups settings to "My Contacts or "My Contacts except.." This way, strangers who get hold of your number will not be able to add you to the group.
In case you've already received the scary message that's crashing WhatsApp on your phone, access your chats from WhatsApp Web and delete the message from there. As a precaution, make sure you block the person who sent you the message. And this is only until a patch has arrived.
"WhatsApp has released and already begun rolling out a patch that addresses this in its latest iOS software update. As with any tech product, we strongly encourage users to keep their WhatsApp app and mobile operating system up to date and download updates whenever they're available," WhatsApp spokesperson told Tech Radar.