New Delhi: If you have received an MP4 video file on WhatsApp from an unknown number, you could be a victim of a new kind of hacking which uses a recently discovered vulnerability of WhatsApp to install malicious spywares in phones.

This security vulnerability allowed a remote attacker to target phones by sending a video file in MP4 format.

When notified about the security breach, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) categorised the threat under "High Severity" category.

Pegasus-like features

Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group was under spotlight recently for allegedly providing technology [Pegasus spyware] that used WhatsApp's video calling feature to attack user's phones.

A security message notified by WhatsApp's parent company Facebook said, "A stack-based buffer overflow could be triggered in WhatsApp by sending a specially crafted MP4 file to a WhatsApp user."

Identified as CVE-2019-11931, this vulnerability message is similar to the one received by CERT from WhatsApp during the Pegasus snooping case.

According to the communication, this weakness could allow a remote attacker to force "Denial of Services (DoS) and Remote Code Execution (RCE)" which could be used to compromise any device running Android, iOS or Windows.

An attacker could use a person's cell number to send a video file through WhatsApp and install an unwanted program in their phones exploiting such vulnerability.

This security issue exists on both individual and business versions of the popular messaging app until the updates were rolled out in October earlier this year.

Although the latest security patch from WhatsApp claims to have fixed this problem, WhatsApp and Facebook have not given further details about the extent of possible execution of this exploit.

This comes even as the controversy around WhatsApp snooping refuses to die down, where phones of over a dozen activists, journalists and lawyers were allegedly compromised by an Israel-made spyware.

WhatsApp has been under fire for not providing adequate information to Indian authorities about the extent of attacks during Pegasus breach. The messaging app has sued NSO Group in a US court for violating its terms and conditions.

Government sources had earlier claimed that the information provided by WhatsApp is more of a "technical jargon" which didn't give much information about victims and extent of such attacks. WhatsApp had informed users separately about possible Pegasus attack on their devices.

Similar to the Pegasus incident, this vulnerability is also being called "a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability".

According to CERT, "The exploitation does not require any form of authentication from the victim end and executes on downloading of malicious mp4 file on victims system."

Courtesy: www.indiatoday.in

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Patna: Over 18.30 percent voter turnout has been recorded till 11 AM in the first phase of Bihar assembly polls on Wednesday, the Election Commission said in its provisional data.

A total of 71 assembly segments of the state's 243 constituencies are voting in the first phase in which nearly 2.15 crore voters will decide the electoral fate of over 1,000 candidates.

As per the provisional voter turnout data updated by the Election Commission at 11 AM, 18.31 percent of the total electorates have exercised their franchise.

The 71 constituencies are spread across 16 districts.

The maximum 26.76 percent turnout has been recorded in Lakhisarai, followed by Nawada (23.42%) and Banka (22.58 percent).

Among other districts, Buxar has recorded 19.10 percent turnout, Gaya 19.02 percent, Aurangabad 18.46 percent, Sheikhpura 17.31 percent, Kaimur (Bhabua) 16.98 percent, and Bhojpur 16.21 percent.

Munger recorded a turnout of 15.71 percent, Rohtas 15.32 percent, Arwal 14.81 percent, Jamui 13.91 percent, Jehanabad 11.39 percent, Bhagalpur 6.84 percent, and Patna 5.96 percent.

Union minister and senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh cast his vote at a polling booth in Lakhisarai, while former Bihar chief minister and HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi exercised his franchise at a booth in Gaya.