Ground Report | New Delhi: How WhatsApp chat being leaked; The ongoing drama in the Mumbai cruise drugs case seems to be never-ending as to who is right or wrong, however, the case raises an important question – are WhatsApp chats really private?
How WhatsApp chat being leaked
- The “hacking” or intrusion of these instant messaging services is possible, but unlikely, it is easier to intervene an account of a user (explained in another point) than a complete service. This is due to the fact that the companies behind these services incorporate security standards from their design and seek to improve these systems to resist digital attacks, which makes a hack of any service of this type unlikely.
- However, information leaks can happen when a company does not take due care with the information of its users, in these cases, leaks tend to be massive exposures of information or data in formats such as databases, text files or multimedia information.
- Another point to take into account is that it is not possible to request a company or service to demonstrate or verify the origin and destination, or content of the messages, since this violates the security and privacy of the users.
- Cases of “hacks” or intrusions to cell phones are possible and are carried out through various techniques (many remotely, without having access to the phone in hand). The two most common are:
- Installation of malicious software that takes screenshots on the device, this through phishing or physical access to the device.
- Theft of passwords and unauthorized access to accounts, this through brute force attacks (guessing passwords through automated dictionary tests) or by leaked passwords that are reused and repeated on different platforms and services.
when a conversation is exposed
- One way to filter a conversation is for one of the parties to make the information public; or have a third party in a session on another computer access it. Ex: WhatsApp web on a computer. Likewise, publishing a chat can be useful to verify the conversation, as long as it has not been modified or deleted in certain parts.
- Information may be exposed as part of a smear campaign, which requires a broad context analysis.
In any case, when a conversation is exposed, a security mechanism must be activated where the review and update of the following are contemplated:
- Accesses and passwords.
- Activation of two-step verification.
- Devices associated with the account.
- Permissions associated with the account.
- Privacy settings in the account.
What is end-to-end encryption?
- A unique encryption that does not need to create secret or special chats to protect privacy.
- It restricts the possibility that third parties can decrypt these codes.
- WhatsApp has this encrypted message system since 2014.
- Both Apple and Google apply the same system on their cell phones to protect sensitive information against possible hacker attacks.
- There are other end-to-end encryption messaging apps like Telegram.
- It cannot be deactivated and changes are made automatically.
Every time a person joins or leaves a WhatsApp group, its members receive a “special” message in blue informing them about it. The new members of the group do not have access to the messages that were sent before their arrival to the group.
In addition, it is possible to check who the group members are by clicking on the “group information” tab. And each WhatsApp chat has a unique security code that is found on the contact information screen and is available in the form of a QR code and 60 digits.