WhatsApp Flaw Compromises Security Of Encrypted Group Chats

Creepy hackers could secretly eavesdrop on your private WhatsApp group chats, experts claim

They say that anyone who controls WhatsApp's servers could effortlessly insert new people into an otherwise private group, even without the permission of the administrator who ostensibly controls access to that conversation.

The design flaws "allows an attacker ... controlling some of the messages sent by the WhatsApp server, to become a member of the group or add other users to the group without any interaction of the other users", according to their research paper released earlier this month. German Cryptographers, in their research, have found out that WhatsApp group chats are hackable citing that any new member can read the group chats.

Essentially, Stamos said the researchers report was flawed, as no one can secretly add a new member to a group.

The server can easily spoof any new member to the group without asking for permission from the group administrator.

More news: YouTube Has Put its Original Projects with Logan Paul on Hold
More news: 1 injured in semi fire on I-65
More news: Congresswomen Will Wear Black to President Trump's State of the Union Address

With over 1.2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is available in more than 50 different languages around the world and in 10 Indian languages.

That any would-be eavesdropper would have to control the WhatsApp server limits the spying method to sophisticated hackers who could compromise those servers, WhatsApp staffers, or governments who legally coerce WhatsApp to give them access. The server then checks that the user is authorized to administer that group, and (if so), it sends a message to every member of the group indicating that they should add that user. If the admin is keeping an eye on things, then he/she would know that a foreign party has entered the group and warn members about it. According to them, in comparison to Signal and Threema, WhatsApp has a higher security risk.

In response to the study, which was first reported by Wired, Facebook's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos wrote on Twitter: 'Read the Wired article today about WhatsApp - scary headline!

"If someone hacks the WhatsApp server, they can obviously alter the group membership. This means the privacy of your end-to-end encrypted group chat is only guaranteed if you actually trust the WhatsApp server". The new feature will allow the admin to demote his fellow without removing him from the group. It supports voice and video, and starting this week, WhatsApp's enabling a new feature in the latest Android beta version that lets users switch between voice and video during an active call. Typical group chats are managed by one person who is identified as the administrator of the chat. "It's why we collect very little information and all messages sent on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted", the spokesperson added.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

3 quakes magnitude 5 hit Iran-Iraq border area
A magnitude 4.7 quake hit western Iran on Wednesday evening, according to Mizan, the official website of the Iranian judiciary. The epicentre, with a depth of 8km, was determined to be at 33.78 degrees latitude and 45.74 degrees longitude.

Sarah Sanders gets roasted on Twitter after giving update on Trump's health
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said former President Barack Obama overstepped his authority when he created it in 2012. "It's a juggling act".

Messi stars for Barca in Copa quarters
Two minutes later, the hosts doubled their advantage as Messi exchanged passes with Alba before calmly slotting past Alvarez. Argentinean Messi scored in the 13th and 15th minutes following passes from left-back Jordi Alba .

Marvel Is Finally Going To Work On A Black Widow Solo Movie
Forget the Avengers for now: Black Widow might finally be getting her own movie, and there's no assembling required. Johansson has appeared as the character in six films, the next one being this summer's " Avengers: Infinity War ".

Google Positions Assistant At the Top of Its Hardware Pyramid
And there could be trouble ahead for Amazon , he adds, when it attempts to take Alexa to markets beyond the USA and Europe. They make it easy to watch YouTube videos, enjoy personal photos, follow recipes, control smart home devices and more .

Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick declares for 2018 NFL Draft
As per usual, Alabama has multiple players who could enter the National Football League draft as juniors and be selected. After the Crimson Tide's win, UCF put a billboard up in Tuscaloosa challenging Alabama to a home-and-home series .

Google wants your phone screen to double as a speaker
Redux specialised in transforming any surface into a speaker and Google purchased the company late past year . On Redux CEO Nedko Ivanov's LinkedIn page , it shows that he left the company in August 2017.

Blizzard and Twitch announce Overwatch League media partnership
You can also watch previous matches through video-on-demand (including the preseason that's already up) on the official website . With Overwatch League set to begin in earnest this week, Blizzard want to make sure you don't miss a second of the action.

Mom, boyfriend sought in burning, beating death of 4-year-old girl
Both were charged, yet Child Protective Services weren't summoned until Diaz's four-year-old daughter suffered a horrific death. Marshals are offering up to $5,000 for anyone with information that leads to the direct arrest of Candice R.

John Dickerson will replace Charlie Rose on "CBS This Morning"
It is unclear if Dickerson will continue to host the CBS Sunday news show as he joins " CBS This Morning ". CBS has been mired in third place in the broadcast morning show wars for decades.

Salvadorans to lose protected status in the US
The benefit, which includes work authorization, can be renewed up to 18 months at a time by the Homeland Security secretary.

Justices Won't Review Challenges to Mississippi's Anti-Gay Law
In 2009, the Delhi High Court had described Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. Section 377 has undergone many twists and turns ever since the Delhi High Court decriminalised it in 2009.

Blood Donations Go Uncollected Due To Winter Weather: American Red Cross
Type B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients. That's why National Blood Donor Month is in January. More than 150 blood drives were forced to cancel.

NFL, NFLPA to investigate Panthers' concussion evaluation of Cam Newton
Newton finished the game as the Panthers lost, 31-26, at the Superdome and saw their season end. A sideline concussion evaluation is not considered sufficient under those circumstances.

Serena Williams exits Australian Open: 'I'm not where I want to be'
Serena Williams will not defend her title at Melbourne Park this month after withdrawing from the Australian Open . We're not mad at all about Serena needing and taking more time to get back into GOAT shape.

Other news