Wednesday, 31 January 2018

WhatsApp Group chats can be Hacked

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Researchers have revealed that WhatsApp group chats could be spied on despite the messaging app's famous end-to-end encryption.However, that's not necessarily a reason to panic.Anyone able to take control of the App's servers could join group chats without admin approval, the researchers noted but the app notifies everyone in agroup chat that someone has joined, so such spying won’t be very stealthy at all. Plus, the person  joining will only be able to see new messages, not scroll back and see your old posts

Such privacy issues are worth noting,even if they don’t impact most of us. This flaw won’t be a problem for most users, and exploiting it requires sophisticated skills or access to WhatsApp’s servers, meaning it could really only be used by  facebook, which owns the messaging app, or by governments demanding access.
Additionally, a user being targeted would be aware of it, - making the flaw rather less usefull or spying. Still, it’s a fact worth knowing if you are genuinely worried about being targeted by government – level authorities, and you may instead want to switch to a messaging app that’s even more securely locked down.Signal, for example, uses the same encryption system as WhatsApp, but with tighter security and it’s not owned by Facebook.
Indeed, Microsoft has just introduced end to end encryption into Skype using the Signal protocol, to bring it more closely in line with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Allo.
Its good to have independent researchers poking and prodding messaging apps for security reasons but we need level headed reporting and responses to avoid unnecessary panic.WhatsApp security is not perfect because there is no such thing.Not every design decision is a flaw.

Its encryption and design make it a solid security choice for most of us look to chat over the internet, so there’s no urgent need to abandon it.
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