A black dot message, being circulated via message on WhatsApp is causing the app and the user’s smartphones to hang for a few seconds when clicked upon. WhatsApp users are receiving a message with a warning that WhatsApp will hang if clicked upon black dot. WhatsApp, for those who do click the black dot hangs for a few seconds, with people unable to close the app, scroll up or down, etc. Another version is a message that simply contains text that reads, “don’t-touch-here.” According to a report on Slashgear, both the versions contain messages special characters and symbols invisible to users that cause the app to crash. “A superfluous amount of these invisible symbols causes WhatsApp to freeze up,” the report reads.
WhatsApp black dot message seems to be affecting a lot more Android users than those on iOS. It is unclear if iOS users have been affected. Such messages, typically called message bombs contain hidden symbols between spaces that expand upon clicking. The expanded symbols overload the app, causing it to crash. Users who receive the black dot message are advised to refrain clicking on the black dot. Whether the bug affects devices in some other way as well is not clear at this point.
This is not the first time a bug is being circulated on the messaging app, which has over 1.2 billion monthly active users. This also makes the messaging service one of the easiest platforms to target devices with malware. Last year, a link telling users that their ‘subscription has expired’ was being circulated on WhatsApp. It asked users to verify their account and purchase a lifetime subscription for 0.99 British pound. A scam/spam message inviting users to a WhatsApp Gold version, an invite-only club with special features also went viral on the platform.