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WhatsApp iOS update fixes security flaw that let anyone bypass Face ID or Touch ID lock

If you are an iOS user running the beta version of WhatsApp then make sure to install the new update that brings the version number of WhatsApp to 2.19.22.

  • Published: February 22, 2019 12:16 PM IST
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WhatsApp has just rolled out a new update for its iOS users. This update has fixed the security flaw that allowed anyone to bypass the Face ID or Touch ID screen lock feature. If you are an iOS user running the beta version of WhatsApp then make sure to install the new update that brings the version number of WhatsApp for iOS to 2.19.22. This new update comes just about two days after the security flaw was discovered in the newly implemented feature.

This security flaw worked in all the screen lockout duration except the “Immediately” option allowing anyone to bypass the lock regardless of the method of authentication. As previously reported, users need to access the Share Sheet on iOS. To do this, they need to share something on iOS and then tap the “WhatsApp” option in the Share Sheet. After selecting “WhatsApp” on the share sheet, WhatsApp does not ask the user for any Face ID or Touch ID-based authentication. The report also mentioned that in case the app asked for authentication, then the user should cancel the authentication, navigate to the home screen and try again.

Watch: Apple iPhone XS, XS Max Hands On

The security flaw was initially discovered by a Reddit user with the name “de_X_ter” and later reported by WABetaInfo, the same source that informed us that Apple has fixed the issue through their official Twitter handle. This came days after WhatsApp initially rolled out the screen lock feature to iOS devices in the market.

As reported previously, users need to go to the “Screen Lock” option in the “Privacy” section in the “Account” menu in the WhatsApp settings app. As part of the options, users have four options for the screen lock time including “Immediately”, “After 1 minute”, “After 15 minutes”, and “After 1 hour”. The company has not yet rolled out the option for Android users though it is likely that the company will do that in coming weeks.

  • Published Date: February 22, 2019 12:16 PM IST