April 14 (VARIndia) – As per reports, the new security flaw in WhatsApp can let cybercriminals suspend the account of any user using their phone number.
The attackers apparently do not need any information about the user other than his phone number. At the time the report was pushed out, there was no solution for the issue. However, the attacker can only get the user’s account blocked but not gain access to it.
The first ones to discover the dangerous flaw were security researchers Luis Márquez Carpintero and Ernesto Canales Pereña. While this sounds like an impossible thing to do, the researchers have found that the attackers first download WhatsApp on their phones and try to log in using the victim’s mobile number.
When that is being done, WhatsApp’s two-factor authentication system immediately sends a code to the victim’s phone number. This prohibits the attacker to gain access to the account, but he keeps repeating the process. Due to several failed login attempts, WhatsApp disables login for 12 hours. This stops both the victim and attacker to log in to their WhatsApp account for 12 hours.
The next thing that the attackers do is email WhatsApp, asking them to deactivate or suspend the phone number of the victim. The attacker does not mention that it has logged the user out of the account but claims that the victim’s phone has been lost or stolen. WhatsApp without cross-checking or asking for any inputs from the victim deactivates the WhatsApp account. If the process is repeated, WhatsApp can lock the account permanently.