If you use WhatsApp, especially on a daily basis, then this is something you need to be extremely wary about. An exploit/hack has been discovered which lets people read all your sent messages.
Apparently, this can be triggered by simply sending a particular animated GIF on WhatsApp. It’s not just any animated GIF, however, but one that is specifically infused with malicious code. The worst part here is that it’s hard to prevent it from happening.
While most people would think that it wouldn’t be a problem unless you open any attachments/files sent to you, this isn’t necessarily the case at all. These animated GIFs automatically play in preview, so you don’t even have to open it to be infected.
The ones that are vulnerable against this exploit/hack are Android devices, specifically those running Android 8.1 Oreo and Android 9.0 Pie. This represents the majority of Android users today.
There is a way to protect yourself, however, but you may or may not have access to them. Either way, it’s at least worth a try.
Update to Android 10
Update your WhatsApp app
As mentioned before, the exploit/hack works on older Android versions so if you can update to Android 10, you should. It has a number of neat new features but the most important part is the security patches.
In the event that you can’t update to Android 10, like me, you will need to update your WhatsApp as quickly as possible. The security loophole has been fixed as of version 2.19.244. Needless to say, anything newer than that will also work.
At the moment, the exploit/hack is said to not be present in other messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and Instagram DMs.
My advice is, Best to get that updated as fast as you can. I can’t upgrade to Android 10 so that’s out of the question for me but I have my WhatsApp updated so no problems there.