This weekend has been marred by reports of Whatsapp messenger not being as safe as it claims. The Guardian ran a report that there is a way of getting into through the backdoor to monitor and read conversations. This is despite a guarantee by Whatsapp that their service is completely encrypted and cannot be viewed by an intruder.
Over a billion people are using Whatsapp messenger, mainly because of its ease to use and security features. Not many mainstream messaging services out there can claim being totally encrypted user-to-user. But this may have changed without the public knowing after Facebook took over the messaging service.
Whatsapp messenger was handed over to Facebook for $19 Billion in 2014.
This proclaimed discovery was made by a security researcher at the University of California, Berkley. Tobias Boelter claims that the company can enter any conversation when needed and even potentially supply governments or agencies with this information. This would be and can be done in a way that may not even send the slight of alarm to both users who are conversing with each other.
“If WhatsApp was asked by a government agency to disclose its messaging records it can effectively grant access due to the change in keys,” Boelter told the Guardian.
Any Suspicious Behavior by Whatsapp Messenger?
Well, since the report claims that we really won’t be able to tell whether or not our conversations are being read, nobody has really come forward to say that theirs has. Interestingly enough, Whatsapp messenger has been featured in the news many times over 2016 for resisting government pressure in Brazil.
If you don’t remember, Whatsapp messenger was repeatedly banned by a court in Brazil in 2016 for not handing over information related to a criminal investigation there. Over 100 million people in Brazil use Whatsapp messenger, so really, if it wanted to do it then it could have.
This sort of pressure was also on Facebook in Brazil as well around the same time.
How Worried Should You Be?
There shouldn’t be much reason for worry. Why? Well, another security expert came out after The Guardian report to basically thrash the claims as “major league fuckwittage.” Whatever that is.
Alec Muffett, also a security researcher, who came out and talked to Gizmodo about the story. So until there is really solid proof about Whatsapp messenger being compromised or giving way under serious pressure, the everyday user shouldn’t really have anything to worry about.
But, if you are up to something weird and cannot stand the thought of your conversations leaking. Maybe you shouldn’t be talking about such stuff on a free messaging service anyways.
Let us know what you think and how strong you perceive the security to be on Whatsapp messenger, in the comments section below.