WhatsApp users are recommended to be cautious as security experts have issued a warning after a new bug has been detected. The new bug allows hackers to access WhatsApp chats of users which puts their privacy at great risk. Google’s Project Zero team discovered the threat and revealed that iOS users are under threat after if they visit one of the compromised websites. The researchers went on to explain and added that iOS users will have to make sure that they do not log on to any unauthorised websites as it can allow hackers to gain access to users’ photos, location and other important details via a keychain implant that can bypass encryption on messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and more. As many as five different iPhone exploits have been unearthed by Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG).
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has always endorsed itself as a messaging platform which banks on end to end encryption. The encryption allows users to be sure of privacy and be confident no one else can read or have their way into the chats. But the recent revelations have come as a shock that could comprise privacy of a huge fraction of users. According to a report by Statista, WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users across the globe who use the app every month.
“WhatsApp cares deeply about the privacy of our users. It is false to claim there is a known bug within WhatsApp impacting users at this time. As always, we recommend users follow warnings from manufacturers on the latest security updates for mobile phone operating systems,” a WhatsApp Spokesperson told FE Tech in an emailed statement.
According to Google researcher Ian Beer, with the end to end encryption being compromised, hackers start sending all the hacked messages as plain texts over the server. Google added that only a handful of websites have the ability to hack devices like this and users should make sure they avoid using any unauthorised website, first reported by Motherboard. Project Zero team released a list of websites that, when accessed on an iPhone, will render the data stored locally prone to hacking.
It is advised that iOS users should upgrade their devices to the latest operating system provided by Apple which allows them to be safe from these security threats. iOS users should also make sure they do not click on any suspicious emails which might redirect them to an unknown website as that could be another ploy being used by hackers to hack devices.