A Dangerous “Text Bomb” is Spreading Through WhatsApp
The users of WhatsApp have discovered a new “text bomb” that breaks the messenger. It was reported by the portal WABetaInfo. In simple words, a text bomb is a set of certain characters that can “crash” the service every time it is loaded on Android and iOS devices.
Is WhatsApp Safe and Secure? Read the article and notice another tech and functional drawbacks of the popular app.
What are text bombs?
A text bomb is a specific set of characters that causes interruptions in an electronic device’s operation — trolls and prankers often use them to inconvenience the recipient.
The messages in question first appeared in Brazil (the same country is home to the vast majority of users affected by the “bomb”.)
“We call them “scary symbols”. They are very dangerous and can interfere with the operation of your WhatsApp,” reported the portal.
Such text bombs are created intentionally: they don’t make any sense. However, due to numerous characters or an atypical structure, WhatsApp may process them incorrectly, which leads to forced closing of the messenger and endless attempts to restart. It means that the app will “crash” every time you open it again.
WABetaInfo warned users not to forward suspiciously long messages consisting of disjointed characters to their friends and other contacts. This can not only deprive them of access to the messenger but also saved chats.
It’s high time to change the messenger! Read Is There a WhatsApp Alternative For Daily Chatting? And choose a secure and private app.
How long have text bombs been used?
In April, it was reported that a text bomb broke iOS devices. It was about a forwarded text written in the Sindhi language common in Pakistan and India. For the first time this “bomb” appeared on the Telegram messenger and then migrated to Twitter. There, it appeared in a form of a picture of a sunset.
Initially, the dangerous text was distributed along with an Emoji of the Italian flag. Later, it turned out that this image has been optional for the text bomb to work — the whole problem was in words. As soon as the user received a notification about a message with such symbols, his “Apple” device started working slowly or even hung up.
Text messages and photos can “break” a smartphone — such a case happened in the summer of 2020.
What should we do with a “scary message”?
Unofficial versions of WhatsApp implemented a kind of “crash code protection”. However, we do not recommend installing these apps because they can change the WhatsApp code’s behavior, which may cause your messages to be incorrectly encrypted.
If you receive a text bomb, try to delete the message and block the contact using WhatsApp Web. Then set your privacy settings to allow only your contacts to add you to groups because other unknown contacts can add you to groups and then send text messages to them.
Unfortunately, this problem has been around for more than 3 years. No one knows if WhatsApp is trying to solve it, but most likely, it isn’t. The best solution to this is to switch to other messengers like Utopia or Telegram.
What is the best messenger? Read Clash of The Titans: Telegram vs WhatsApp vs Utopia and choose your reliable app.