If you ignore updates on your smartphone, you may want to change your habit. According to News18, a security researcher has recently discovered a critical bug in WhatsApp that allows a hacker to gain access to your phone’s data by sending you an infected GIF.

The Next Web

The hacker can send the infected GIF via a message, an email or even a third-party app. As soon as the user downloads the GIF on their Android phone and opens it within the gallery on WhatsApp, the malicious code allows the hacker to gain access to the victim’s phone.

Hindustan Times

Awakened, a self-described technologist and an information security enthusiast, said in a post, ‘WhatsApp users, please do update to latest WhatsApp version (2.19.244 or above) to stay safe from this bug.’


In a statement to The Next Web, WhatsApp told that there were no reports of any attacks on users using this vulnerability, and that, “this issue affects the user on the sender side, meaning the issue could, in theory, occur when the user takes action to send a GIF. The issue would impact their own device.”