Security Experts:

Two Remote Code Execution Vulnerabilities Patched in WhatsApp

WhatsApp has patched two serious vulnerabilities that could be exploited for remote code execution.

WhatsApp only has three security advisories for 2022, with the first two released in January and February. The latest advisory, released this month, informs customers of two memory-related issues affecting the WhatsApp mobile applications.

One of the flaws, tracked as CVE-2022-36934 and rated ‘critical’, is an integer overflow issue that affects WhatsApp for Android prior to 2.22.16.12, Business for Android prior to 2.22.16.12, iOS prior to 2.22.16.12, and Business for iOS prior to 2.22.16.12.

According to WhatsApp, an attacker can exploit the vulnerability for remote code execution during a video call.

The second issue, a high-severity flaw tracked as CVE-2022-27492, is an integer underflow that can be exploited for remote code execution by sending a specially crafted video file to the targeted user. It has been patched in WhatsApp for Android and iOS with the release of versions 2.22.16.2 and 2.22.15.9, respectively.

According to cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes, CVE-2022-36934 impacts the Video Call Handler component, while CVE-2022-27492 affects the Video File Handler component.

The vulnerabilities appear to have been discovered internally and there is no indication that they have been exploited in the wild.

WhatsApp vulnerabilities can be highly valuable to malicious actors. There have been reports in recent years of WhatsApp zero-days being exploited to install malware on smartphones. WhatsApp has even filed a lawsuit against Israeli spyware company NSO Group for infecting customers’ phones.

Exploit acquisition company Zerodium is currently offering up to $1 million for WhatsApp exploits that achieve remote code execution and local privilege escalation, and up to $1.5 million if the exploit does not require any user interaction.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.