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WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption is 'useless', Telegram CEO explains why

Durov also pointed out that Bezos’ data would have been safe had he relied on Telegram, instead of Facebook’s WhatsApp.

February 04, 2020 / 04:56 PM IST

Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov has yet again slammed WhatsApp for its end-to-end encryption standards, which allegedly is vulnerable to malicious backdoor bugs.

In his blog post titled ‘Why Using WhatsApp Is Dangerous’, Durov highlights the ‘backdoor’ bugs that leave the data on any smartphone accessible to hackers.

“Other aspects of a messaging app can render end-to-end encryption useless,” he says.

The Telegram CEO believes that the same backdoor bugs were used to extract data from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s smartphone.

Durov also pointed out that Bezos’ data would have been safe had he relied on Telegram, instead of Facebook’s WhatsApp. He further added, “WhatsApp’s “corrupt video” vulnerability was present not only on iOS but also on Android and even Windows Phone devices. Meaning, on all mobile devices with WhatsApp installed.”

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Bezos’ iPhone was allegedly hacked after he had downloaded a 4.4MB video file containing malware on WhatsApp. Durov claims that he flagged the bug previously, which Facebook shot down after it claimed that there was ‘no proof the flaw had ever been used by attackers.’

“Given the gravity of the situation, one would expect Facebook/WhatsApp to apologise and pledge not to plant backdoors in their apps going forward. Instead, they announced that Apple, not WhatsApp, was to blame. Facebook’s vice president claimed that iOS, rather than WhatsApp, had been hacked,” the blog post read.

Durov also claimed that Telegram’s end-to-end encryption, which was added years before WhatsApp’s implementation, is far more secure and overcomes the limitations like cloud-based data that is left unencrypted, enforcement agencies forcing developers to plant vulnerabilities, and most importantly, the implementation and documentation of the source code used for end-to-end encryption.

He considers Telegram’s secret Chats to be significantly secure than any other rival messaging app. Lastly, Durov stated that his statements are based on facts, and not personal preference. “just like the code of the Telegram apps, these facts are verifiable and further supported by the third-party sources below. When it comes to security, nobody should take anybody’s word for granted,” he added.



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first published: Feb 3, 2020 12:41 pm
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