WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging platforms on the planet. With over a billion active users on the service, spamming is very common. Now a mysterious bug has surfaced on WhatsApp for Android devices, causing the app to crash unexpectedly. Some reports claim that it can even cause the phone to crash.
A forwarded message is doing the rounds and is causing WhatsApp to freeze when the recipient taps on the message box. According to SlashGear, a specially crafted message is sent ‘with hidden symbols in-between spaces.’ When you tap on a portion of the text, it will make the app expand the hidden symbols, causing the app to overload and even possibly the OS.
Generally known as ‘message bombs’, they are not limited to Android devices. Apple’s iMessage too is not immune to them. Many users found a temporary to fix the bug by using Siri to send a message.
The report on SlashGear added that there are two variants of the message that is currently in circulation. One of them includes a black dot and even has a warning on it that says what will follow if it is tapped. Curiosity gets the better of most people and they end up clicking the dot anyway.
The other message affecting the app does not come with a warning but is equally damaging. This message includes special characters which do not show up but are used to change how the text behaves.The origins of either message are yet unknown. WhatsApp is yet to release a statement over this issue.