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you are here: HomeNewsTechnology
Jan 11, 2018 06:58 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

German researchers claim to have found a way to infiltrate into WhatsApp group chats

According to the researchers, the biggest weakness of the microblogging app is its extreme dependence towards servers

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom

The security flaws on WhatsApp can help infiltrators to enter group chats, claimed researchers. According to them, the intrusion can be carried out by anyone who could controls app’s servers.

As per a report in tech blog Wired, the security flaw first came to notice to a group of German cryptographers. As per the group who belong to Ruhr University Bochum in Germany, illegal hackers can join groups without the knowledge of the group administrator using the control they have on the server.

"The confidentiality of the group is broken as soon as the uninvited member can obtain all the new messages and read them… If I hear there's end-to-end encryption for both groups and two-party communications, that means adding of new members should be protected against. And if not, the value of encryption is very little," researcher Paul Rösler was quoted saying in the report.

According to the researchers, the biggest weakness of the microblogging app is its extreme dependence towards servers that negates even the efforts that are made towards end-to-end encryption. They also point out that the lack of any authentication mechanism to deal with the invitation for new members also worsens the security. Once an attacker with server control accessed the conversation, he or she could also use it to selectively block any messages in the group, including those that ask questions, or provide warnings about the new entrant.

However, Facebook which owns WhatsApp has downplayed the news by assuring that only authorised personnel are allowed to access WhatsApp servers. Even government authorities are provided access only after proper authorization. “Read the Wired article today about WhatsApp – scary headline! But there is no [sic] a secret way into WhatsApp groups chats,” tweeted Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos who also assured that there are multiple ways to check on any spy.
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