WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption
Although some governments have complained about the lack of security of WhatsApp, the endto-end encryption ensures that WhatsApp users are not vulnerable to snooping by others. While end-to-end encryption is not impenetrable, the fact remains that hackers and other malicious actors can still break into your accounts. Fortunately, WhatsApp has resolved this problem with cryptography. While it remains difficult to spy on other users, end-to-end encryption protects your conversations.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has viewed WhatsApp as a goldmine of private user data, a view that is supported by a recently released document, called “Lawful Access.” While a subpoena may yield basic subscriber information, it will not protect the information on the device itself. Furthermore, the FBI has noted that end-to-end encryption is not sufficient to protect the information on your device.
WhatsApp’s vulnerability to human psychology attacks
Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, recently announced a vulnerability that affects all versions of the software. This vulnerability affects both the home and business versions, and the social network urged users to turn off the automatic download feature. But the vulnerability isn’t new; Facebook has been aware of it since 2015. Regardless of the reason for the vulnerability, it’s important that users update their software as soon as possible.
A recent study by Check Point Research has identified an example of a social engineering attack that exploits human psychology to spread false information. With this tool, people could abuse the quote feature in group chats to change reply text to create a false message. Hackers could also decrypt messages and view data between the mobile and web versions of WhatsApp, allowing them to send fake messages and alter the text in them. This means that any malicious party can take advantage of WhatsApp’s vulnerability to spread false information and mislead its users.
WhatsApp spying on users
WhatsApp has recently been hit with a large fine for not disclosing its extensive monitoring operation. The fine was imposed after a ProPublica report alleged that the messaging app secretly monitors users’ chat content. While WhatsApp publicly states that it has no such policy, it does employ moderators, who can act if necessary. But this is not without its own drawbacks.
The following are some ways WhatsApp might be spying on its users.
First, US federal agencies are using an old surveillance law to track users through the social media site. They don’t explain why they’re tracking people and do not even know the identity of the targets. A government monitoring memo revealed that the DEA tracked WhatsApp users in Macau and China without knowing their identities. The DEA requested that WhatsApp monitor target users’ IP addresses and contacts. Those DEA agents don’t have a legal basis for tracking WhatsApp users.