WhatsApp users across the globe have complained of getting messages that crashes and freezes the app. This messages are reportedly long and have been written using special characters that WhatsApp is not able to decode leading to an indefinite crash of the app. Once affected, you will not have any option but to delete and reinstall your app entirely hence you’ll risk losing all your chat history.
WABetaInfo first reported the crash code, having been alerted by several WhatsApp users.
They explained: “A contact might send a message that contains many weird characters. If you read them entirely, they have no sense, but WhatsApp might interpret the message in the wrong way.
Sometimes WhatsApp is also unable to render the message totally, because its structure is so weird: the combination of these characters create a situation where WhatsApp isn’t able to process the message, determining an infinite crash.
Infinite crash means that, when you open WhatsApp, it is frozen and it crashes. If you try to open the app again, it still crashes.
Sometimes these scary messages are simply vcards… apparently. If you open the vcard, you can verify that there might be like 100 associated contacts. Every contact has a very long weird name, that contains a crash code. Sometimes the vcard is also altered, editing/injecting something called Payload that makes the situation worse.
Seen that there isn’t a general name, users started to name these scary messages using some terms, like Travar, Binario, Contact bomb, TravaZap or simply Crashers.”
According to WABetaInfo, crash codes are currently circulating on WhatsApp globally, with several reports in Brazil this week.
How can I protect myself?
At the moment, there is no solution to fix this problem. If you are affected by this, you have only the option of uninstalling and reinstalling WhatsApp. However, there are measures you can put in place to protect yourself from this WhatsApp crash messages. They include:
- Change your settings so that no one can to add you to a group without your permission
- Back up your chat history at least once a week( If you happen to be attacked you will install WhatsApp again and Restore your chat history)
- If you receive a message like this, you should block the contact using WhatsApp Web.