Watch out! Weird text messages can cause WhatsApp to crash
WhatsApp has been hit by a weird issue, one that can cause the messaging service to crash indefinitely on your Android or iOS phone. The problem, according to users, ties to a string of strange messages, much like the 'text bomb' issue that has affected iPhones on a number of occasions in the past. Here is all you need to know about it.
Messages with unusual characters
As reported by renowned WhatsApp tipster WABetaInfo, a string of long text messages with unusual characters is causing WhatsApp to crash. Basically, when these messages are opened by unsuspecting users, the service fails to render the characters like regular ones. It immediately goes unresponsive and keeps on crashing, even after being closed and reopened on the device.
Problem affecting users globally
Going by the reports on the internet, the buggy messages started circulating last month in Brazil - where the problem is most prevalent - and have affected users around the world. Not to mention, in many cases, these unusual messages are being delivered as part of vcards, making it even more difficult for users to understand that they have received malicious text.
No fix available yet
So far, WhatsApp has not commented on the matter or confirmed when it is going to fix this issue. The problem is widespread and can easily break your WhatsApp experience, given that there is an infinite combination of these characters at play here. Further, there are several threat actors who are sharing these codes to members of groups with weak privacy settings.
Here is an example of the crashcode
How to protect yourself?
With no official fix in sight, only a handful of workarounds can help you dodge this issue. You can, for instance, avoid crashing of the app by deleting the malicious message and blocking its sender via WhatsApp Web. Alternatively, you can also try re-installing the service but that would result in the wiping of messages that have not been backed up.