WHATSAPP users can breathe a massive sigh of relief today after a major security issue that could expose their personal details via a simple Google search has now been fixed.
WhatsApp users were warned about a worrying glitch earlier this week that could end up exposing personal phone numbers in Google’s very public search results. The shocking issue, which was discovered by researcher Athul Jayaram, affected users who joined conversations via the “Click to Chat” feature.
This option is aimed at making it faster for users to connect more quickly by producing a short URL which can be shared without needing to add people to contacts on a phone. This feature has been especially useful for businesses trying to keep in touch with customers but it appears that using it comes with a hidden flaw that leads to phone numbers then being published on the web.
WhatsApp was clearly worried about the implications of this issue and has now pushed out a fix which should stop it ever happening again.
In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: “While we appreciate this researcher’s report and value the time that he took to share it with us, it did not qualify for a bounty since it merely contained a search engine index of URLs that WhatsApp users chose to make public. All WhatsApp users, including businesses, can block unwanted messages with the tap of a button.”