A WhatsApp Message Is Causing Android Phones To Temporarily Freeze

WhatsApp

A black dot can crash WhatsApp but there's no reason to panic Creative Commons

When the technique was applied in the WhatsApp "black spot" prank, a host of control characters were used, one after the other, to overload the app and force it to hang. Android and iPhone users across the globe have been affected with this WhatsApp message and a lot of them have been reportedly asked to restart their mobile phones. The invisible symbols are responsible for the crash of the app or the phone. Thus far, at least two variations of the message bomb have been identified - there's one with a black dot that literally warns recipients of what will happen if you tap on it (and apparently, folks are still doing just that).

"In both cases, the message includes special characters that don't display visibly but are used to change text behavior". The bug occurs when a specific malicious message is sent to a device. If anything, the message was created to simply irritate users with a brief inability (in some extreme cases, it crashes the app) to scroll up or down after tapping on the dot. If the user isn't on WhatsApp, it will throw an error message instead. Such threatening messages are not limited to the Android platform though, iMessage on iOS has also encountered texts that sent the app crashing.

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Did you get such a forward message from your friends and family?

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If you get this kind of message, then make sure that you don't tap it and try to delete it as fast as you can.

On the most modern and powerful smartphones the bug simply blocks WhatsApp (or the application in which you received that message) and you just have to wait for it to close by itself or close it manually. You should also inform other WhatsApp contacts to not click on such messages stating the reason why.

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