The popular messaging and calling app WhatsApp has added a new element to its list of features. With the new update, you can share files of any type between your contacts and groups. Before, the only data formats that one could share were limited to multi media(vid, mp4, mp3, webm) and document files. The file sharing update works on both the smartphone and desktop version of the application. As of now, file sharing is limited to 100mb per file on Android, 128mb on iOS, and 64mb on a desktop. This new feature certainly has its benefits, yet, it also raises the potential for abuse by users and bad actors.
Hackers are always looking for new creative ways to distribute their payloads and infect users. While this new feature is a convenient way to share different types of files, specifically in the workplace, some factors give rise to concern. For example, a hacker could send a .apk file or scripts containing malicious code to an unsuspecting victim. This is further aggravated by the fact that the vast majority of smartphone users are not too savvy when it comes to securing their devices. Another issue that could stem from this new feature is the piracy of multimedia files and software. Even though 100mb is not enough to share your average movie or software, there are ways to splice files and send them in multiple packets. In any case, users should be careful when opening suspicious files, especially from any unknown number.