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Up to 200m WhatsApp users exposed to malware risk

Security consultants have warned that as many as 200m WhatsApp users could be at risk of a software vulnerability affecting web-based versions of the Facebook-owned messaging service.

According to security firm Check Point the bug exposes users of the messaging service to hacker distributed malware and ransomware. A security fix has now been released by WhatsApp but it requires users to update their own WhatsApp software to take effect.

The flaw involved subverting a feature of the service for submitting virtual business cards to a known targets mobile number, with hackers able to apply their own malicious code to infect computers when opened.

Akin to its more popular mobile service the web-based service enables access to messages, images and other content received by a smartphone via a web browser and has around 200m active users.

By contrast the mobile platform has 900m users.

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