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Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

You are lucky if you have not yet received a new bug that’s crashing not only the WhatsApp app on Android, but also the phone itself. The bug is being spread as a seemingly harmless WhatsApp message forward, and when you click on the message, it instantly affects your app and phone.

According to a recent report by SlashGear, this new bug is like any message bomb that involves sending and receiving a specially crafted message with hidden symbols in-between spaces. Tapping on a portion of the text will basically make the app ‘expand’ the hidden symbols, potentially overloading the app and even the OS.

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In case ‘message bomb’ sounds like a scary new concept to you, you will be surprised to know that it’s been around for a while. It’s not limited to Android; even iMessage is not immune to bugs that could send the app crashing.

“There seem to be two variants of this WhatsApp message being forwarded. One involves an ominous black dot that comes with a warning on what will happen if you tap on it which most curious cats will do anyway,” the report added.

Another message bomb which is causing the messaging platform to crash is more nefarious, looks too innocent and does not come with a warning. This message includes special characters that do not display visibly but are used to change text behaviour.

A superfluous amount of these invisible symbols causes WhatsApp to freeze.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has not commented on the potentially disruptive bug so far.