WhatsApp update fixes privacy bug on iPhones

WhatsApp has acknowledged the problem and will soon be coming out with an update to fix the same.

WhatsApp has rolled out an update to fix a bug that allowed anyone to bypass Face ID or Touch ID screen lock on its iPhone app. The update with WhatsApp version 2.19.22 is already available on App store for iPhone users to download.

WhatsApp recently added a new security feature for its iOS app earlier this month. It introduced biometric authentication to allow users to unlock the messaging app using Face ID and Touch ID. The new privacy features can be activated from the Settings>Privacy>Screen Lock section. Users are given a choice to either choose Face ID or Touch ID for unlocking the app. There are four options for the authentication feature to kick in. These included – immediately, after 1 minute, after 15 minutes, after 1 hour.

However, the feature was affected by a bug that allowed users to bypass the privacy controls. Notably, the system failed when users selected interval option other than ‘immediately’. Also, the security feature was easily surpassed through iPhone’s share option to send files on WhatsApp.

The bug was first spotted by a Reddit user earlier this week. Facebook owned WhatsApp confirmed the existence of the bug and responded to fix it shortly. As the feature was only available for iOS users, the bug did not impact any Android user.

Private reply feature for group chat in iOS

Meanwhile, the social messaging app rolled out a new group chat feature for iPhone users. Called the Private Reply feature, it enables users to reply privately for group chat messages. For this, you will have to long press on the message (you want to reply to) > tap on the three-dotted menu > find the Private Reply option in the menu. This will then redirect you to the private chat of the contact with the message selected you want to reply to.