Apparently, WhatsApp still has a way to obtain information for Facebook despite the fact that users were earlier given chance to choose if they want their info shared or not. According to a research report, WhatsApp possess a quite “dangerous” backdoor method that allows Facebook and others (third parties) to read the supposedly encrypted messages.
After the purchase of the world’s number one messaging application, WhatsApp by the world’s number one social media platform, Facebook, the new owners (Facebook) claimed that WhatsApp is completely secure and messages cannot be intercepted due to the use of end-to-end encryption. Researchers have however cime forward to reveal a serious security flaw that makes it possible for Facebook, government agencies, any third paty to read encrypted messages.
The security vulnerability or let’s “flaw” was initially discovered by Tobias Boelter, a cryptography and security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He was said to have reported the vulnerability to Facebook sometime in April 2016 and was told that it was “expected behavior” that the company wasn’t looking to remedy. Meaning, WhatsApp apparently loves it that way. Who knows? The loophole might have even been created by WhatsApp on purpose… for purposes – sinister or not- we may never get to know.
WhatsApp’s encryption uses a generation of unique security keys using Open Whisper’s Signal protocol which guarantees that conversations can’t be intercepted. However, the security loophole allows WhatsApp to override these security keys for offline users. In turn, the sender of the original message, unknowingly, re-encrypts the message, any messages that have not been marked as delivered, as a result, will be sent with these new encryption keys once the user comes back online.
Well, according to Guardian, ‘This re-encryption and rebroadcasting effectively allows WhatsApp to intercept and read users’ messages’
A Twitter user also sounded a note of warning to anyone using or intending to use WhatsApp to avoid government surveillance to avoid doing so. The user tweeted- “If you’re using WhatsApp to avoid government surveillance, stop now,”
This loophole is definitely fixable there seem to be no sign from WhatsApp that they want to or would love to fix it. It is an ‘expected behavior’, remember?
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