WhatsApp bug lets hackers sneak inside group chats

WhatsApp bug lets hackers sneak inside group chats

WhatsApp bug lets hackers sneak inside group chats

WhatsApp group chats are hackable and any new member can read the group chats, German Cryptographers have found in a research.

Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos in a Twitter thread said that it was impossible for anyone to infiltrate WhatsApp's private groups. This does not mean that the remaining members of the group won't know that a new one has joined.

We completed the implementation of end-to-end encryption in 2016 for all messaging and calling on WhatsApp so that no one, not even us, has access to the content of your conversations. Thus, servers can not detect if the admin added new members or someone unknown joined the private conversation.

Here's how the researchers explained the bug on WhatsApp. As Wired puts it this type of attack is probably limited to "sophisticated hackers who could compromise those servers, WhatsApp staffers, or governments who legally coerce WhatsApp to give them access".

"If I hear there's end-to-end encryption for both groups and two-party communications, that means adding of new members should be protected against".

Group chat app Signal was found to have the same problem as WhatsApp, but as well as controlling the server the attacker also needs to know the chat's Group ID - which is nearly impossible to know without having physical access to one of the phones in the message thread. However, doing so leaves traces as this operation is listed in the graphical user interface and the WhatsApp server can thus use the fact that it can stealthily reorder and drop messages in the group.

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Responding to the report, WhatsApp said, "We've looked at this issue carefully".

WhatsApp representatives told Wired there would be no fixes as a result of the research and that notifications of new chat additions are warning enough.

WhatsApp is adding numerous features to its platform to enhance the user experience. In such a case, it is impossible for them to share details with enforcement agencies that they themselves can not access. The attacker will not see any past messages to the group; those were e2e encrypted with keys the attacker doesn't have. 2.

So if you see someone new entering your group, speak to the other members in private chats to confirm the new person's identity. "From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file, and voice message you send, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats", company said in its blog post. "There is no way to suppress this message", he wrote.

"In contrast, Telegram does no encryption at all for group messages, even though it advertises itself as an encrypted messenger, and even though Telegram users think that group chats are somehow secure". The attackers might send spoofed messages in order to prevent the administrator from removing spy from the private conversation.

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