The WhatsApp network is targeted by an exploit as embarrassing as it is serious. Using the usual procedures for authenticating WhatsApp and recovering allegedly compromised accounts, you can almost permanently block another person’s WhatsApp account, starting only from the phone number.
The method works without the participation of the victim, only knowing her phone, at the moment there is no way to block such an attack.
Assuming you want revenge or harass another person who uses WhatsApp to communicate, all you have to do is “clean” install the application on a mobile phone from which you removed the SIM card, then go through the usual steps for authentication. In the absence of a SIM card on which to receive the two-step authentication code, the application will ask you to enter the phone number manually, and then the authentication code received on the presumed phone in your possession. All you have to do is try to enter an incorrect code repeatedly to get the security lock for an initial 12 hours.
Once WhatsApp authentication by the usual method has been stopped, the attacker sends a message to the technical support center to recover the account, using any email address, stating that the initially authenticated phone (the one in the victim’s possession) was lost or stolen and that that account should be disabled to block unauthorized access. WhatsApp verifies the request by sending an answer by email, after which it suspends the respective account without other interventions. Repeatedly repeated, the request for deactivation may create a semi-permanent blocking of the WhatsApp account, blocking its use by the owner.
Robert J. Smith is still early into his career as tech reporter but has already had his work published in many major publications including JoyStiq and Android Authority. In regards to academics, Robert earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Robert has passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in science and tech.