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WhatsApp flaw lets hackers spy on group chats

WhatsApp flaw lets hackers spy on group chats

So theoretically, intercepting and reading a message would not be possible by a third party.

The staffer added that if an administrator spots a fishy new addition to a group, they can always tell other users via another group, or in one-to-one messages.

Apparently, WhatsApp has a flaw that allows anyone who has access to company's servers to add new people to private group chats without chat administrator's permission. The flaw here is obvious: since the group management messages are not signed by the administrator, a malicious WhatsApp server can add any user it wants into the group.

How does the exploit work?

[The] WhatsApp attack takes advantage of a simple bug. But that possibility of detection isn't an adequate solution to WhatsApp's underlying problem, argues John Hopkins' Green. The report also said that there is no authentication mechanism for the invitation that its own server can add to the group. It cited the researchers as saying that anyone who controls WhatsApp's servers could effortlessly insert new people into an otherwise private group. Obviously, this would nullify what end-to-end encryption is because servers shouldn't expose contents, even when exposed.

"The WhatsApp server can therefore use the fact that it can stealthily reorder and drop messages in the group", the paper states. This would include messages asking about the new member and even those that say to be wary of the newcomer. The probability of a someone getting unauthorized access to a WhatsApp server is pretty low.

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Researchers from the Ruhr University Bochum analyzed flaws in three encryption chat apps: WhatsApp, Signal and Threema. Of course, in Sri Lanka, most people don't really understand or realize the issue of privacy.

There's no doubt that encryption is a critical tool for protecting our data.

It's impossible for someone to get into your group without you knowing.

WhatsApp rolled out the mentions feature for its users back in 2016 in an attempt to improve the overall experience of the users. WhatsApp, however, has turned down the claim.

A similar problem in the messaging app Signal is also described by Rösler, Mainka, and Schwenk in their research paper.

"At introduce, WhatsApp is building up this element for iOS and it will be accessible soon for all clients, rather for Android it is as of now empowered naturally in the most up to date WhatsApp Google Play beta for Android 2.18.12", the report included. If you notice anyone who should not be there, immediately notify the group admin. Of course, you will need to be a group admin of some group in order to check out this feature.

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