WhatsApp has emerged as the most popular messaging app today. But, reports of bugs, flaws, hacks and Trojans that have been discovered about WhatsApp recently for sure put a question mark on its security. It is essential to know whether your information and messages on WhatsApp are secure or not. Many issues questioning the security and privacy of this popular messaging app have been reported in the recent past.
Let’s have a look at some of them!
WhatsApp messages can be accessed remotely
This is a big threat to your privacy. One security expert Bas Bosschert has discovered that WhatsApp backs up messages on Android in an insecure way that can be stolen and read by others through downloaded Android apps. However, this is only possible if you are allowing WhatsApp to keep a back up of your messages on the SD card. In case you have your message backup option turned off during the initial setup, then your messages are safe. But if not then, your messages are in danger.
In order to prevent this attack, you must clean the app from your phone and then install WhatsApp all over again. This time don’t forget to turn off message backup when asked during the installation setup.
WhatsApp allows strangers to see your profile picture even after your privacy settings
Another WhatsApp security bug has been discovered. This bug allows strangers to see your profile picture irrespective of your privacy settings. This means even if you have opted for ‘Contacts only’ then also WhatsApp lets everyone see your profile photo.
This bug has been discovered by a 17 year old security researcher named Indrajeet Bhuyan. This problem occurred because the smart phone app could not be synced properly with the new web interface version.
The web app shows photos that have been deleted
The same researcher, Bhuyan also discovered that even when you delete your WhatsApp photos, the web saves them indefinitely. This is the reason why you see the blurred photos in your WhatsApp chats after you have deleted them. The web version of WhatsApp that was introduced last month still doesn’t follow the security measures that were taken for the mobile version.
Fake WhatsApp Web is spreading Banking Trojans
WhatsApp has introduced its web version last month which gives the users the ability to read and send messages directly from their web browsers. Malicious hackers have taken advantage of this latest WhatsApp Web and have spread a fake WhatsApp Web Banking Trojan. This Trojan hacks into the confidential information that users have on their private phones.
Hackers gain user’s mobile numbers and run scam campaigns
Researchers have also found that Hackers brought out other promising but unofficial desktop versions of fake WhatsApp Web for the Arabic and Spanish speakers. They portrayed this fake WhatsApp Web as the legitimate version of the app and then extracted the users’ mobile phone numbers.
As the users’ submitted their mobile number for downloading the fake WhatsApp Web, the hackers get their number. They then run spam campaigns on their number or make the users unknowingly subscribe to premium rate services.
Stay cautious when using your favorite app and remain safe!