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WhatsApp launches important security update for the iOS app

Arrives today (30) in order to correct a two-step authentication problem in the WhatsApp iOS application. It is the latest app update that improves the overall security of this popular communication platform and messaging app.

More specifically, we are facing the WhatsApp beta version 2.21.80 for iOS (iPhone). Very soon it will also be made available for the stable channel, for any iOS user, integrating the same corrections. Its installation is recommended.

The WhatsApp update is available for iOS

Note that the 2FA code isn’t enough to get access your WhatsApp account. It needs another code received via SMS. There is nothing to worry about now, but having that code in an encrypted text should be better. https://t.co/eDU1XKehPS

– WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 22, 2020

It corrects a specific lapse in the Apple operating system discovered about a year ago by a common WhatsApp user. Although a long time has passed, the lapse remained in the code of the messaging app for iOS.

At issue is the storage of the verification code, crucial for the two-factor authentication (2FA) of WhatsApp, in a simple text file, therefore, easily accessible since it is not encrypted. In summary, an application vulnerability.

According to the investigation carried out by the publication WABetaInfo the 2-step verification code was essentially unprotected. Something that could jeopardize the security of the user account at a delicate stage of authentication.

The two-factor authentication code could be compromised

Until the arrival of the new update, WhatsApp stored this verification code in a sandbox in an unprotected text file, more specifically in a private directory depending on iOS versions. The risk lay in this same behavior.

There was a potential security breach here that could be exploited by hackers to obtain this sensitive code. Note that, with this authentication code, it is ultimately possible to obtain control of the WhatsApp account.

We recommend installing this WhatsApp update

On the other hand, a second six-digit combination, received by SMS, would be hackers. Still, the flaw was there and only now is it resolved.

We can thus assure the WhatsApp user that the way this code is saved is now more secure. Note that Apple has its own system to store passwords, its Keychain to which these sensitive codes now migrate.

Finally, if you are a WhatsApp user on Android, this flaw has never been felt in Google’s operating system.

4gnews editors recommend:

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