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Why You Should Stop Saving Photos From iMessage, WhatsApp, And Android Messages

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Given you’re reading this story, the chances are that you’re somewhat cyber-aware. If I was to send you a file attachment in a text message—let’s say a Word or PDF document, you’re hopefully programmed to ask a whole set of questions before opening or saving that attachment to your phone. Do I know the sender? Was I expecting the file? But what if it was just a photo—something amusing or attention-grabbing to keep or share? You can view the image within the messaging app, you can see what you’re getting, surely there’s no harm in saving it to your photo album?

If only that was the case. The fact is that a malicious image has the same capacity to damage your device and steal your data as a malicious attachment. The only difference is that it’s a more sophisticated attack, which makes it rarer. We saw the latest example of just such a threat this week, with Facebook confirming that it had patched an Instagram vulnerability disclosed by Check Point’s researchers, one involving a crafted image that could potentially hijack an entire account, maybe even piggyback on Instagram’s permissions to take-over a smartphone.

Facebook disputed Check Point’s claim that the malicious image which crashed Instagram could be used to take-over the smartphone itself, accessing the camera and microphone. Facebook told me that the worst case would be an account hijack, which seems bad enough in itself. And while Check Point claimed that just saving an image to a phone would trigger the attack, Facebook said a user would need to load the image into Instagram. Again, the fact that an image had been crafted as an attack tool was accepted. And that’s the point here.

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/09/27/why-you-should-stop-saving-photos-from-your-imessage-whatsapp-and-android-messages/?sh=6f462f064ff5

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