WhatsApp promises fix for trick to bypass screensaver in iOS app

Feb

21

2019

WhatsApp has promised a fix for a trick to bypass security with Face ID or Touch ID in its iOS app. As a result, malicious people can read chats, even though the app asks for authentication when it starts up.

WhatsApp will soon release the fix that makes the trick impossible, writes Reuters news agency . An employee of the chat app advises users in the meantime to set the screen saver to ‘immediately’, so the trick does not work. It is unknown when the fix comes out.

The trick works with the new function to lock WhatsApp . Users can set in the Privacy settings that authentication via Touch ID or Face ID is needed to open the app. The trick that a user posted on Reddit requires that a user share something via WhatsApp from another app, such as a photo. When sharing, WhatsApp does not ask for authentication. WhatsApp then remains unlocked, allowing malicious people to access the app from the homescreen.

It is a trick with little risk in practice. In order to be able to read chats, malicious parties must already have the unlocked phone. In addition, the trick works with the screen saver timer in WhatsApp. Even on an unlocked phone WhatsApp is locked again after a maximum of one hour.

Touch ID / Face ID on WhatsAppTouch ID / Face ID on WhatsAppTouch ID / Face ID on WhatsApp

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