Telegram founder Pavel Durov has slammed Meta-owned WhatsApp for being a surveillance tool for 13 years in a lengthy post, highlighting the recently-discovered security issue. He said WhatsApp has never been secure, so even after you have updated the app to the latest version, it is “not really” safe. Durov referred to the security vulnerability that WhatsApp confirmed allowed hackers to gain control of the device by just sending a malicious video. Also Read - WhatsApp Polls now available for everyone: Here's how to use the feature
“Every year, we learn about some issue in WhatsApp that puts everything on their users’ devices at risk. Which means it’s almost certain that a new security flaw already exists there,” Durov noted. He mentioned that a similar vulnerability was discovered in 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 in WhatsApp. Before 2017, WhatsApp did not have encryption at all, he noted in his post. Also Read - WhatsApp India head, Meta India’s director of Public Policy quit
Although WhatsApp claimed it has fixed the vulnerability, it failed to convince Durov, who said he was not lashing out at the world’s most popular messaging app just to promote Telegram, which has better security and privacy features. “I’m not pushing people to switch to Telegram here,” he said. According to Durov, Telegram, which has over 700 million active users and more than 2 million daily signups, does not “need additional promotion.” Also Read - WhatsApp is working on a new 'DND Mode' that will flag missed calls
Durov implied that no matter if you are rich or poor if you use WhatsApp, you are always going to be at risk of unknowingly giving miscreants unauthorised access to your device. Durov said because of these recurring vulnerabilities in WhatsApp, he stopped using it and uninstalled it from his device years ago. “Having it installed creates a door to get into your phone,” said Durov.
Durov’s latest attack on WhatsApp adds to the criticism he has been throwing at the Meta-owned app. Previously, he lambasted WhatsApp for pushing its users to accept its new terms of service, which, according to privacy advocates, are not in the best interest of users as they require the user to reveal sensitive information about the device, among others.