IT&Software

A WhatsApp security flaw let researchers snoop on group chat messages

A WhatsApp security flaw let researchers snoop on group chat messages

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has repeatedly claimed to offer total security for its users through its end-to-end encryption.

WhatsApp is also testing a feature where it will likely give group administrators more powers where they will be able to restrict all other members from sending text messages, photographs, videos, GIFs, documents or voice messages in case the admin thinks so.

In a statement to IANS on Thursday, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: "We've looked at this issue carefully". They also point out that the lack of any authentication mechanism to deal with the invitation for new members also worsens the security.

"At present, WhatsApp is developing this feature for iOS and it will be available soon for all users, instead for Android it is already enabled by default in the newest WhatsApp Google Play beta for Android 2.18.12", the report added.

Facebook owned WhatsApp has been rolling out new features at regular intervals - first through beta channel and then through stable channel to all the users. "And if not, the value of encryption is very little", he added.

Читайте также: MoneyGram to test cryptocurrency Ripple

When WhatsApp added end-to-end encryption to every conversation for its billion users two years ago, the mobile messaging giant significantly raised the bar for the privacy of digital communications worldwide. It cited the researchers as saying that anyone who controls WhatsApp's servers could effortlessly insert new people into an otherwise private group.

Have you ever been bombarded with hundreds of notifications from a WhatsApp group, and chose not to read any simply because there were tons of messages and majority did not seem to matter to you? Clients of a group retrieve membership from the server, and clients encrypt all messages they send e2e to all group members.

If admin creates a group chat, he or she has a right to add other members. They say that they plan on revealing similar flaws in apps such as Signal and Threema. However, users still get a notification of a new member joining. This feature will allow a group admin approve a message before it appears in the group chat.

The messenger app has built a new feature, called "Dismiss As Admin", that lets group admins demote other group admins, and take control of conversations. Now when an admin promotes someone to the admin position, removing them as admin meant that the person has to removed from the group.

WhatsApp representatives told Wired there would be no fixes as a result of the research and that notifications of new chat additions are warning enough.

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