WhatsApp Messages May Not Actually Be Private

WhatsApp

Why anyone ever mentions privacy and security in conjunction with WhatsApp beats me. But for some reason, people still do. Adding to the list of privacy issues that plagues the world’s most popular instant messaging service is this one. Here is a quote from a Mashable article:

According to security consultant Bas Bosschert (and reporters that first surfaced on Hacker News message forum), it’s possible for others to access your private WhatsApp chats through downloaded Android apps.

When you use the app’s built-in back-up mechanism — let’s say to prevent losing messages after uninstalling/reinstalling the app or moving them to a new device — WhatsApp is allegedly using the same encryption code to protect you and everyone else (instead of creating a unique key for each user).

This means the backup is going to a database with insecure storage and the chats could potentially be read and stolen by another app. In theory, the developer behind another app could decrypt and ultimately gain access to those messages.

There you have it. You can get all the details from Mashable’s article, Security Consultant Says WhatsApp Messages May Not Actually Be Private.

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

10 thoughts on “WhatsApp Messages May Not Actually Be Private

  • March 12, 2014 at 10:57 am
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    Big deal

    BlackBerry, with gusting vaunted security imminently hackable too.

    Why do we all feel like we are 007 Bond, James Bond, or Angela Merkel, or Benjamin Netanyahu?

    Some of us truly need secure communication, but the ordinary man in the street has no cupboards to even keep his skeletons.

    If a dumbass in China or Israel wants to go through my Whatsapp messages, s/he is very welcome.

    If you want unbreakable security, stop using technology or the Internet.

    End.

    • March 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm
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      God bless you o wise eyebeekay….you’ve said it all

    • March 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm
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      my thoughts exactly, as a rule of thumb you shouldn’t discuss confidential information over IM platforms. but most people don’t even access to privileged or confidential info, so this is a non issue. furthermore WhatsApp’s home zone is feature phones, this vulnerability is an Android problem

  • March 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm
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    If you want unbreakable security, stop using technology or the Internet.

    …E.O.D

    eyebeekay you hit the nail on the head.
    Gracias!

  • March 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm
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    its only those with cupboards to keep their skeletons that are clamoring for privacy. And I guess they know why.

  • March 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm
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    I agree with Eye.Bee.Kay here. With what you’ve learnt about the USA and their numerous security/policing agencies, I think the only way secrets can be maintained is by not letting them out through any communication medium.

    Another article i came across recently also said that both BBM and WhatsApp, including other popular instant messaging services are not secure but instead suggested another obscure platform which isn’t even fully certified to be secure. The bottom line is that anything secret shouldn’t be made available through our modern communication gadgets.

  • March 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm
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    All those guys with sidechicks on WhatsApp they think no one will ever find out about…

  • March 13, 2014 at 7:02 pm
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    The security flaws of whatsapp have been overstated jare. We all know most of these apps store data on the sd card. To mine data from any phone, i just need every other person to download a malicious app from the play store and the user inadvertently grants the app sd card access (when last did you, yes you, check an app’s permissions before you install it). Voila! i have access to your personal data be it pictures, contacts, videos, app data, wifi passwords etc etc.

    Just as EyeBeeKay rightly said, to avoid this, return to the stone age. Lobatan!!!

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