Reports that a security flaw with WhatsApp allows third-partry apps to access and download users' messages have been dismissed by the messaging app as "overstated".

Tech consultant Bas Bosschert first revealed the findings to his investigation into the security issues of WhatsApp in a blogpost on Tuesday.

"We can conclude that every application can read the Whatsapp database and it is also possible to read the chats from the encrypted databases," Bosschert said, before quipping: "Facebook didn't need to buy WhatsApp to read your chats."

"Not painted as accurate"

In response to Bosschert's blogpost, WhatsApp issued a statement to TechCrunch dismissing the findings and arguing that under normal circumstances user data is not exposed.

"We are aware of the reports regarding a 'security flaw'," a spokesperson said. "Unfortunately, these reports have not painted an accurate picture and are overstated."

According to WhatsApp, the security issue highlighted by Bosschert is not one that is unique to its app, rather one that could affect numerous phone applications if a device is infected with malware.

"If a device owner downloads malware or a virus, their phone will be at risk," the statement added.

"As always, we recommend WhatsApp users apply all software updates to ensure they have the latest security fixes and we strongly encourage users to only download trusted software from reputable companies."

Facebook acquired the popular messaging app earlier this year for $19 billion (£11.4bn) but has since faced criticism from privacy advocates concerned with how the social network giant will use the data from WhatsApp's 450 million users.