"WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has patched a bug found on its platform which could allow attackers to gain access to users’ accounts when they answered an incoming call."
In the age of the startup, we have witnessed the incredible sudden rise of small tech companies into global giants. Many of the successful CEOs behind these burgeoning companies have put their success down to the way in which they write their software. An "agile" style of software development has been endorsed as the key to success for companies hoping to get a hold in the marketplace quickly .
Software is very easy to update. Platforms such as the Apple App Store and Google Play provide a framework for updating software on mobile devices as frequently as required, at zero cost and at minimal inconvenience to users. This framework is also clearly invaluable for quickly fixing any problems in deployed software. Security bugs, such as the one recently identified in WhatsApp can be quickly patched.
This approach to software development has proven very successful - features can be rolled out quickly to provide users with new functionality ahead of the competition. Any problems caused by the new code can be fixed later. Mark Zuckerberg famously summed up agile development in his original motto for Facebook - "Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough".
Many of our clients successfully use an agile approach to gain commercial success quickly with their mobile applications. Whilst this approach is clearly well suited to software, the approach that we take to secure patent protection for our clients' software-implemented inventions is very different. After a patent application is filed, it is not possible to add any new material to the application (it cannot be "patched" after filing). We therefore favour a careful and thorough approach to drafting patent applications. This gives our clients the best chance of enjoying the broadest possible protection for their inventions.
WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has patched a bug found on its platform which could allow attackers to gain access to users’ accounts when they answered an incoming call. The vulnerability was identified and reported in late August by Google Project Zero researcher Natalie Silvanovich. According to Silvanovich’s report, the bug occurs when a user receives a “malformed” runtime packet (which could occur when a WhatsApp user accepts an incoming call from an attacker). This triggers an error, causing the app to crash and compromising the user’s account.