A major security flaw in the hugely popular WhatsApp messaging app has been discovered which could potentially allow anyone to delete entire chat histories.
Indian research students Indrajeet Bhuyan and Saurav Kar have posted a 2,000 word message on text-sharing site Pastebin (which is 2kb in size), which they say will crash the WhatsApp whenever you send it to a contact.
Not only that, but when you try to go back into the chat again, having relaunched the app, it will once again force the app to shut down, meaning the only way to continue using WhatsApp is to delete the entire chat history.
Here's a video showing the bug in action:
The problem looks to be limited to the Android version of the app, though the Indian students have yet to test it fully on Apple's platform, though some have reportedly tested it without any issues cropping up. The flaw does not work on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 version of the app.
The two students tested the issue with two versions of WhatsApp's Android app (2.11.431 and 2.11.432). With the latest version being 2.11.461 it is unclear if WhatsApp has patched this flaw in the most recently update.
In total, WhatsApp has over 600 million active users around the world.
Whether this is a problem with Android or with WhatsApp is unclear at the moment, but there are likely to be many people willing to test out this 'trick' just for fun, but as it could be used in group messaging chats, it could lead to a lot of problems.
WhatsApp or Google have yet to comment on the issue but we will update the article if or when they do.