You’ve probably seen the news: A text message circulates and can cause WhatsApp to crash.
In recent years, WhatsApp and other messaging applications have been targeted by bad actors to destroy them and harass customers. The messaging application’s network is now making a new attempt.
Depending on where you looked, how scared you were.
As far as we know, this is the worst that can happen, and you should be able to delete the offending message after a restart so it no longer disrupts your work.
The Latest WhatsApp text bomber apk, for example, is even publicly available, so you can download it for your own, uh, experiments, and it looks pretty simple at first glance:
However, as we noted in the figure above, the message is actually much larger than 100 kilobytes because it is filled with characters that tell you how to display the text, not what text to display.
In this case, there are thousands of pairs of symbolic characters in an order that says From now on, write from left to right, as you normally do in English, and immediately after that : Change your mind, now go from right to left, in Hebrew.
And this is what happens when a file tells every application that it is loaded to save the switch direction, even if nothing is displayed between each change of direction.
Markers just one jump to the left and one step to the right are sandwiched between the emoji like Unicode characters with a laugh and a shout and a final quote:
One might think that the direction of the text does not need its own special symbol if one assumes that the direction setting always applies to all documents.
But many languages that write from right to left, such as. B. Arabic and Hebrew, generally write numbers in Indian numerals, just as we do in English when we write a sentence as if there were 63,360 inches in a mile.
Therefore, text in these languages should generally be typed to the right, then go forward and move the numbers to the left of the text you just printed, then go back, move the numbers and move the text from right to left.
Similarly, word processing programs need to know how to make the cursor jump across a line when the edit point moves between different directions of the text in the file.
There are also many non-printable characters that are commonly used in Unicode text, such as B. which are used to join several characters together in the compound form in which they are normally displayed.
The combination of symbols in different forms often seems strange to English speakers. Note, however, that in English it was customary to write the word THE with the letters TH joined together in a form that somewhat resembled the modern Y, but this was not the case. Today we give an impression of antiquity when writing things like Ye Olde Gift Shoppe, but the word that sounds like Ye today is actually an alternate spelling of (and is pronounced the, not thou, for that matter).
So it’s not as easy to display old text messages as reading them byte by byte and displaying them one by one – as Apple recently discovered when a single Telugu character made up of multiple sub-components could somehow crash iOS.
What should I do?
- Don’t panic– Reports of phone destruction are exaggerated.
- Restart the phone if necessary.
- Delete all joke messages.
- Watch out for the WhatsAppupdate – they will definitely be working on it if it hasn’t been fixed already.
- Don’t bomb your friends via SMS – it sounds like a joke, but it’s not funny.
Just think of the last point.
Cybersecurity jokes are worth a dime: it’s easy to send fake virus pop-ups to your friends; have fun sending annoying Weather Active Danger text messages booby traps; put stupid calendar entries in a colleague’s calendar while his computer is unlocked and his back is turned.
But please don’t do this.
Cybersecurity is a fight enough without trying to use it as a source of boring or embarrassing jokes…. …By the way, many of these pranks are illegal, so don’t expect any sympathy if you get caught!