A security researcher discovered a critical Double-free vulnerability in WhatsApp allows remote attackers to take control of your Android phone and Steal the files by sending malformed GIFs.
Facebook-owned privacy-oriented messenger WhatsApp is one of the Top-ranked Messanger apps with more than Billion users around the world in both Android and iPhone.
The researcher found that the Double-free vulnerability that resides in the WhatsApp‘s Gallery view implementation, which is mainly used to generate a preview for media such as images, videos, and GIFs.
To Exploit this double-free vulnerability, the attacker sends a GIF file to the targeted Android device via any channels and the user just needs to open a gallery via pressing the Paper Clip button in WhatsApp.
Attackers can exploit this vulnerability using two different attack vectors that are both local privilege escalation and remote code execution on victims’ Android devices.
With Local privilege Escalation, the Attacker will install a malicious app in the victims’ Android Phone, and the app can collect addresses of zygote libraries and generates a malicious GIF file.
Once the Malicious GIF file implant to the Android devices, it can execute the code in the WhatsApp context and app eventually steal the files from WhatsApp sandbox that includes a message database.
In Remote code execution Attack Vector, Attackers can abuse and pair with the application such as a browser that has remote memory information disclosure vulnerability to collect the addresses of zygote libraries and craft a malicious GIF file.