Check Point software didn't mention the number of accounts which were at risk, but did say that the fault was dangerous to "hundreds of millions" of users using these messaging services from internet browsers in computers, as opposed to mobile apps.
"This new vulnerability put hundreds of millions of WhatsApp Web and Telegram Web users at risk of complete account take over," Check Point head of product vulnerability Oded Vanunu said in a release.
"By simply sending an innocent looking photo, an attacker could gain control over the account, access message history, all photos that were ever shared, and send messages on behalf of the user."
The fault permits an attacker to booby-trap a digital image laced with malicious code at its background that comes into action after the picture is clicked upon for viewing, according to Check Point.The malicious code then hijacks the account, and spreads itself as a virus by sending infected messages to the contacts.
WhatsApp and Telegram's encryption technique is designed to ascertain that only senders and receivers see what is in the messages. As a remedy to this situation, both services moved to finding and blocking viruses before encrypting the messages, the security researchers said.
WhatsApp being one of the most used messaging services in the world has more than one billion users. Telegram, on the other hand, claims to have only 100 million, but is often referred to as a preferred messaging service of jihadists because of its encryption for keeping messages from the authorities' eyes.
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