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Oh, for F...acebook: WhatsApp, critics spar over alleged 'backdoor'

January 14, 2017

Don't panic, there's nothing to fear, insists green messenger.

 

WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption can be potentially exploited by determined snoops to intercept and read encrypted messages, it was claimed today. Essentially, if an attacker can reroute a redelivered encrypted message, it is possible to decrypt the text.

 

Facebook-owned WhatsApp stresses this is not a serious flaw nor a deliberate backdoor in its code. Users can detect and stop the surveillance, if it happens, by activating security notifications in the application's settings.

 

Jacob Ginsberg, senior director at Echoworx, an expert in end-to-end messaging encryption, said: “The fact that Facebook has known about this vulnerability since April is doubly damming. Not only could this be seen by many as supporting on-going government data collection interventions, it means their talk of encryption and privacy has been nothing more than lip service. The company needs to actively address its security measures.”

 

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