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New WhatsApp Bug Lets User Bypass Face ID And Touch ID

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WhatsApp earlier this month introduced a new security feature that allowed iPhone users to set fingerprint or facial recognition as log-in methods. However, several users are now reporting a new WhatsApp bug that enables them to bypass these security measures to open the messaging app.

New WhatsApp bug – what should you do?

Spotted first by a Reddit user, de_X_ter, this new WhatsApp bug lets anyone bypass the Face ID or Touch ID provided the biometric authentication kick-in time selected is on anything except “Immediately.” Other kick-in time options are: After 1 minute, After 15 minutes, and After 1 hour.

Further, the Redditor noted that this new WhatsApp bug can be exploited when someone uses the WhatsApp Share Extension in any app. If a user shares anything on WhatsApp using the iOS Share Sheet, the system must trigger the Touch ID or Face ID requirement. But, there is no such trigger if a user has selected anything except for Immediately in WhatsApp > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock.

Even when a user goes to the home screen from the iOS Share screen, they can open WhatsApp without authenticating via Touch ID or Face ID. In this case, one is able to use the messaging app even beyond the set kick-in time. So, this new WhatsApp bug easily allows anyone to bypass the new security measures.

As of now, it is not clear if it’s a bug with the WhatsApp iOS app or an issue with WhatsApp’s implementation with the new security feature. A good thing, however, is that the Facebook-owned company is aware of the issue and has assured a fix soon. In the meantime, the company recommends users to set the screen lock option to Immediately.

WhatsApp added support for Touch ID or Face ID for unlocking the app via iOS version 2.19.20. The feature is not yet available for Android users.

New features in pipeline

WhatsApp has added several new features lately, including Sticker packs, a shortcut button for group calls, PiP mode and more. The messaging app also has several more features in the pipeline.

One much-awaited feature that will be out soon is the Dark mode. This feature is already available in several popular apps like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The Dark mode is basically an interface with a dark background and white icons. The feature not only helps to save battery but also puts less strain on the eyes when the phone is used in the dark.

Another highly anticipated feature is the group invitation link. This would address a major problem with the platform as it will give users an option if they want to be added into a particular group or not. Such an option will likely be added under the privacy option.

There are also reports that WhatsApp is preparing a new algorithm to help users sort Status updates based on relevance. Sorting by relevance will, in turn, be based on numerous factors, like whom do you interact with most, who posts Status more, or whose Status you watch often.

Another highly anticipated feature is the biometric authentication for Android. WhatsApp already has the said feature for the iOS app, and now, it will soon bring the feature to the Android phones as well. But, before that, the company will have to ensure that the new WhatsApp bug is fixed for the iOS, and that it doesn’t surface in the Android app.

WhatsApp Business for iOS coming soon

Recently, the Facebook-owned company has launched WhatsApp Business for iOS devices in beta. The messaging app already has a Business app for Android devices, allowing businesses to chat with customers. WhatsApp’s Business app for iOS, appears and works similar to the Android version.

With a separate business app, Facebook is trying to woo businesses and further monetize WhatsApp. Facebook already has separate tools for businesses for its other products like Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

To further monetize its services, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly planning to integrate all its messaging services. Such integration of services would allow businesses to reply to customer messages from a single location, making it convenient and efficient to address queries. Such a feature is unlikely to debut this year, but this is something that the social networking giant would want to come with as soon as possible.

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Aman Jain
Personal Finance Writer

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