Thijs Alkemade is a computer science and mathematics student who says he has taken time to poke into how WhatsApp encrypts messages. He has published his findings in a highly technical blogpost. It is a lot of Greek to the average person, so I won’t rehash all the technical stuff here. I am not that technical myself, so I have no idea how everything that he states there pans out. However, he has advice that is worded in English:
You should assume that anyone who is able to eavesdrop on your WhatsApp connection is capable of decrypting your messages, given enough effort. You should consider all your previous WhatsApp conversations compromised. There is nothing a WhatsApp user can do about this but except to stop using it until the developers can update it.
The more technically inclined can go through the entire post: Piercing Through WhatsApp’s Encryption. Apparently, in response to this, CrackBerry reached out to rival platform, BBM’s official, Andrew Bocking, who had this to say:
I can’t really speak to all of the technical aspects of the WhatsApp system. However people can rest assured that BBM remains a trusted private social network. Where other services may be vulnerable to unwanted snooping or eavesdropping, BBM increasingly uses standard TLS deployment to remove that vulnerability from our service. TLS is a well-known, well-studied protocol. To put it in every day context, this is the same technology used for internet banking.quotes
Should you be alarmed that your previous WhatsApp messages are compromised? It depends. If all you have been doing is keeping in touch with your pals and exchanging harmless banter, I would say, No. However, if you have been planning world domination….. Okay, that’s extreme. Let’s back up a bit. If you have been sharing user login details to vital accounts and things like that, well….there you go.