A remote code execution (RCE) flaw found in Instagram that lets bad actors potentially take over a victim’s phone by sending a malicious image shines a spotlight on the vulnerabilities tied to third-party apps and image files.
Researchers from Check Point crashed Mozjpeg, open source software that Instagram uses as a decoder for images uploaded to the photo-sharing service, to exploit CVE-2020-1895, according to a blog post. Although the bug was discovered on an Android device, Check Point said iOS devices are also at risk.
Yaniv Balmas, Check Point’s head of cyber research, said Instagram made a mistake in how it integrated Mozjpeg into the Instagram app. Balmas said the image parsing code used as a third-party library wound up being the weakest part of the Instagram app, noting that researchers were able to crash it 447 times. Check Point has notified Instagram owner Facebook of the vulnerability and it has since been fixed.
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