Have your WhatsApp messages been exploited?

How servers can be reading your WhatsApp messages!

whatsapp | over 50s techAccording to recent research, your WhatsApp messages could be read by government agencies, even Facebook, this is due to a recent security hole found within the app. There have been many fears over privacy after researcher Tobias Boelter discovered that there was a hole in WhatsApp’s methods of end to end encryption. The encryption is added to ensure that nobody including the company can read your private messages. However, it does mean that the company can intercept messages sent to users phones that are not connected to the internet, and then send them to a separate device without the receiver or sender knowing. Users have been completely unaware of this issue as the intended message has still been sent to the intended receiver.

Many users of this app are saying that the vulnerability can only be used to spy on single messages and not entire conversations. This however, isn’t completely true, the WhatsApp server can also forward your messages without sending the double tick, which some users might not notice. When exploiting the re transmission vulnerability, the server will not only get a single message but will receive an entire transcript of the whole conversation.

WhatsApp has not yet attempted to fix this, as they have said it is “expected behaviour”. The discovery of this hole in security has led experts to say it is both “serious” and “alarming” especially at a time when government agencies are looking for ways to bypass encryption and then criticised the company for violating users’ privacy. This is a serious matter, and companies have been urged to put systems in place that will protect cryptographic keys when needed. A basic right for people worldwide is to have secure messages, this is why governments are attempting to break down and intrude on the use of encryption to protect your privacy.

A basic right for people worldwide is to have secure messages, however, with growing concerns about security governments are attempting to break down and intrude on the use of encryption that protect your privacy. WhatsApp say they implemented the security to make it easier for users. In many parts of the world, people are frequently changing their device and sim card and in these situations, they want to make sure peoples personal messages are being delivered, and not lost in the transit. WhatsApp published a technical white paper on its encryption design and has been transparent about the government requests it receives, publishing data about those requests.

All WhatsApp users can alter their settings to receive an alert whenever there is a change made to encryption. This means that they would get a notification if one of their messages was redirected to a device with a different key. To set up encryption warnings go to Settings; Account; Security; Turn on Show security notifications.

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