comscore WhatsApp yet to fix a flaw that allows hackers to edit or change messages

WhatsApp yet to fix a flaw that allows hackers to edit or change messages

There are reports claiming that WhatsApp is yet to fix the security flaw that allows hackers to edit or change quoted messages and spread misinformation. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Published: August 9, 2019 12:08 PM IST

(Photo credit: Pixabay)

WhatsApp is yet to address a security flaw that was pointed out a year ago by Check Point, an Israeli security software firm. As per security researchers, this vulnerability could be exploited in three ways, all of which involve social engineering tactics to fool end-users. First of all, a bad actor could use the “quote” feature in a group conversation to change the identity of the sender, even if that person is not a member of the group.

Secondly, a user could alter the text of someone else’s reply, essentially putting words in their mouth. Lastly, a private message could be sent to a group participant disguised as a public message and when the targeted individual responds it becomes visible to everyone in the conversation. In the year 2018, the cited source alerted WhatsApp about the vulnerabilities, which would enable threat actors to intercept and manipulate messages sent in both individual and group chats.

Notably, the Facebook-owned company resolved the third vulnerability. But, it was reported that for hackers it was still possible to edit or change quoted messages and spread misinformation. Dikla Barda, Roman Zaikin and Oded Vanunu, Security Researchers at Check Point informed about the same at the annual Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

However, a Facebook spokesperson told IANS that the flaw was reviewed a year ago and found that it was “false to suggest there is a vulnerability with the security we provide on WhatsApp”. “The scenario described here is merely the mobile equivalent of altering replies in an email thread to make it look like something a person didn’t write. We need to be mindful that addressing concerns raised by these researchers could make WhatsApp less private — such as storing information about the origin of messages,” the spokesperson said.

Besides, it was just recently reported that WhatsApp developers are working on a new feature for the popular multimedia messaging platform. According to a report, the company is working on a Boomerang-like feature for the app. This feature is basically a customizable video preset present on Instagram. Users can use this feature to loop their videos in different ways. Similar to other upcoming WhatsApp features, the Boomerang feature is currently hidden from everyone. The report also noted that developers are currently working on the feature to ensure that it is bug-free at the time of the launch.

With inputs from IANS

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  • Published Date: August 9, 2019 12:08 PM IST