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Opinion: WhatsApp hack sorted!

PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 May 2019

Comedian and broadcaster Steve Allen gives practical WhatsApp help.

Comedian and broadcaster Steve Allen gives practical WhatsApp help.

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Were you affected by the WhatsApp security hack?

That's a rhetorical question. If I wanted to know the answer I'd simply read your messages.

There's an app for smartphones called WhatsApp. It's like sending a text but it includes a blue tick that lets the sender know you've read their message and lets you know you have about five minutes to reply before that friendship ends.

Hackers found a way to install malware on your device via WhatsApp if they tried to call you and you didn't answer.

Of course we wouldn't answer. No one talks on phones these days.

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We have all had that moment when you have been messaging someone and then they ring. You stare at your phone, motionless in case any sudden move might accidentally answer it.

It was caused by a buffer overflow vulnerability in the Secure Realtime Transport Protocol. I don't know what that means and I don't want to have to speak to anyone who does. Basically, the hackers could listen to you via your device's microphone.

Given where most people use their phones these days that means the hackers would hear a lot of flushing.

No one wants to be blackmailed and extorted, so what can we do?

You can find your app store, locate the entry for WhatsApp, be sure to be connected to WiFi and activate a download and installation of the latest release version.

I know that sounds complicated but the other option is to stop doing anything that could be embarrassing near your phone.

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