In a bizarre incident, Facebook-owned WhatsApp seemed to have disappeared from the Google Play Store, some users complained on Friday. The app is now back and users can see it again on the Google Play Store. “Users are now reporting that the Facebook-owned instant chat messenger app no longer appears on the Play Store search results,” MSPoweruser reported. This essentially means that it’s wasn’t possible to install WhatsApp via Google Play Store for the time being. And those who were looking to join WhatsApp for the first time weren’t able to.
However, those users that had previously installed the app but uninstalled it later could see it. They were able to see the app in the ‘Previously installed app’ section in the Google Play Store. Which, in turn, means that WhatsApp didn’t completely disappear from the Google Play Store and neither did Google blacklist the app, the report added. The reason remains unclear but, WhatsApp for Business, still remains on the Play Store, as spotted by WABetaInfo, a fan website that tracks updates.
Recently, a security bug has been found in Facebook-owned instant messenger. This bug could let attackers obtain access to a device and steal data by sending a malicious GIF file. The danger stems from a double-free bug in WhatsApp, according to a researcher going by the nickname Awakened, TheNextWeb reported.
A double-free vulnerability is a memory corruption anomaly that could crash an application or open up an exploit vector that attackers can abuse to gain access to users’ device. According to Awakened’s post on GitHub, the flaw resided in WhatsApp’s Gallery view implementation that is used to generate previews for photographs, videos and GIFs. All it takes to perform the attack is to craft a malicious GIF, and wait for the user to open the WhatsApp gallery, the report added.
“The exploit works well until WhatsApp version 2.19.230. The vulnerability is officially patched in WhatsApp version 2.19.244,” wrote the researcher. The bug also works for Android 8.1 and Android 9.0 OS but does not work for Android 8.0 and below.