WhatsApp is a gigantic messaging service with over one billion daily users. Recently, Whatsapp rolled out end-to-end encryption, the popular messaging platform ensured the folks that the chats are secured from any unwanted third-party attention. In fact, the app joined the chain of very few chat apps that complete an end-to-end encryption. However, a new question mark has been raised on the WhatsApp privacy.
A great security expert has claimed that the chats on WhatsApp are never removed even after the users have hit the delete button. The latest version of the app tested leaves forensic trace all of the chats, even after a person has deleted, cleared or archived them even if we clear all the chats.
What is End to End Encryption?
It is a way of transmitting a Message so that it can be read by the particular recipient, not intercepted by accessing the servers or the networks through which the message is sent. Instead of sending a message as a plain text, the message is scrambled as a coded series of digits that needs a key held only by the sender and the receiver.
Actually, the keys are ephemeral, which means that they will disappear after the message is unscrambled, so it cannot be unlocked afterward. The WhatsApp users can also verify that their conversations are not being interrupted by processing a code. The encrypted messages and the phone calls have enraged security services that rely on tapping into communication data. The concept of encryption dates thousands of years to code written message sending, but now, the modern forms of communication can be encrypted automatically with the complex coding.
The Smartphone revolution sends and receives a more data between the devices. The data like voice calls, text messages or the mobile data is managed by the service provider. Whether or not this data is encrypted varies depending on the policy of the organization providing the service. For example, the voice calls and the text messages are handled by the mobile operator. This operator also provides 3G or 4G connection to the internet on the Smartphone, buy the company does not encrypt all the services we use.
If a person tends to message through WhatsApp rather than text message, the mobile operator is not responsible for encrypting that information. WhatsApp data merely provides the people with the connection to the wider internet, the connection that allows messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook etc to send messages all over the world.
How does WhatsApp encryption Process works?
WhatsApp encrypting messages is big criteria because it means that the organization itself has decided to run a system in which even it cannot interrupt and read the messages sent on its own platform. When a person sends a message, it can only unlock only by the intended recipient. This is totally based on the complex mechanism of WhatsApp. Recently, WhatsApp has end-t-end encryption which means the hackers or the other users can intercept and read the messages. WhatsApp has done this because as a company they believe in their right to have private conversations when a person uses the service.
Why is end-to-end encryption an important one?
The reason that the decision is a lot of attention in the case of high profiles in which the communication service providers like Facebook are put upon by the authorities to release the sensitive personal data. The larger communication companies give more importance when it comes to personal data, security, and encryption.
Does every app have end-to-end encryption?
Today’s Smartphone messaging services have played an important role in the field of security. The Facebook messenger only encrypts the messages between the device and the servers. This means Facebook could be obliged to disclose the private messages. The same mechanism applies to Instagram also. In the year 2016, WhatsApp announced that it will start to share the data with Facebook in order to draw in adverts to the platform. The third party companies will be able to send the targeted, messages directly to WhatsApp users should they accept the new terms and conditions.
Facebook bought WhatsApp in the year 2014, and the latter will share the user’s contact numbers with Facebook to provide the advertisements. It is a clear flag that the platform has to convert its offering in the future for providing a free service. WhatsApp has to concede some of its privacy rules so the data will be secured. If a person wants to share the additional information such as the contact number, there is a specific path for it.
In Brazil, WhatsApp has been blocked in the year 2016 for failing to hand over the data related to a criminal investigation. The Judges ordered telecoms providers to block the service. In the year 2015, software vulnerability was discovered in the web-based version of WhatsApp, which could allow the hackers to trick the users into downloading malware on their personal computers respectively. Nearly two hundred million users were estimated to be at risk. In the year 2015, it was reported that WhatsApp users swearing at each other in Dubai or Abu Dhabi could face a large amount of fine and deportation under a new federal law.
WhatsApp malware threatens to steal personal information?
The most recent WhatsApp scam to come to the attention hopes to trick the user into opening a legitimate-looking word, Excel or PDF document attached to a WhatsApp message that will actually download to the device that can steal the personal information. One of the better ways to avoid the scam is to delete the message, and never to download a document or file attachment whether or not it comes from a trusted or an authorized contact.
Deleted WhatsApp chats can still be read?
Simply preserving deleted data on a secured device is not usually a significant issue, but when the data comes from the device as freely as WhatsApp database does, it poses rather a serious risk to privacy. On the iPhone or iPad, WhatsApp data is stored in an unencrypted form. Although the messaging service now uses end-to-end encryption, that only applies to data that is traveling between the devices so that messages cannot be intercepted and read.
That data, including the traces of the deleted conversations which are automatically backed up to iCloud, which is not an encrypted and could, therefore, be read by a third party, who may be authorized or unauthorized one. This means anyone with access to the physical device or a computer associated with the device can access the messages, especially if the user does not have a password protecting the backups. The law enforcement can potentially issue a warrant with the Apple organization to obtain the deleted WhatsApp logs, which may include the deleted messages. The main issue is that communication is not ephemeral on disk. The only way to totally delete the information stored by WhatsApp is to delete the app entirely. The design choices they make when developing a secure messaging app has critical implications for the journalists. Facebook complies with over seventy percent of requests for data from the government in the UK, which includes WhatsApp data.
Anand Rajendran is CEO and Co-Founder of Zoplay, best PHP scripts development company located in India. Zoplay is a part of Casperon Technologies a leading social and mobile development company which is developing , leading innovative and collaborative software development teams to deliver major software applications like SCIMBO – Whatsapp Clone Script. I’m a Tech geek, Digital marketing expert, Entrepreneur, and Atheist who loves to write everything about PHP Scripts and mobile application development.
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