Items tagged with WhatsApp

WhatsApp bills itself as a free and secure messaging application with end-to-end encryption and cross platform support, all of which have made it a popular option. However, it may not be as secure as advertised. Vulnerabilities that were disclosed last year have still not been addressed, and if abused, could allow an attacker to spoof messages. Researchers at Checkpoint disclosed the a trio of attack vectors last year, explaining that they could enable a hacker to change a user's messages, change a sender's identity, and make private messages viewable to the public. One of those has been addressed, but two of the attack vectors still remain, as researchers recently demonstrated at the Black Hat... Read more...
An Israeli company that managed to hack WhatsApp earlier this year is now claiming it has developed new software that can stealthily swipe cloud data from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. It can even bypass two-factor authentication and warning emails on target devices. Developed by NSO Group, the software is called Pegasus. Apparently it has been used for several years by various governments and spy agencies to gather data from smartphones, presumably from people of interest for one reason or another. The latest iteration, however, extends past smartphones and can pluck data from the cloud. People who are supposedly familiar with NSO Group's sales pitch told Financial Times that... Read more...
In yet another blow to Huawei as it struggles to deal with a US ban, Facebook is distancing itself from the ostracized smartphone maker by no longer allowing its apps to be preinstalled on the company's handsets. That includes not just Facebook, but also WhatsApp and Instagram, both of which the social media giant owns. US intelligence agencies have long warned that Huawei could be linked to spying on behalf of China. More recently, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made the claim that Huawei is directly funded by the Chinese government, and the National Defense Authorization Act subsequently banned US government agencies from using products from Huawei (and also ZTE). Things have only gone... Read more...
WhatsApp, a Facebook property, has issued a warning to users of its app and is asking users to upgrade to the latest version of the app. Reports surfaced this week that a company based in Israel has been able to successfully install malware that could listen in on phone calls made via WhatsApp. While WhatsApp confirmed the vulnerability, it didn't name the company that allegedly has the capability of listening in on conversations. WhatsApp is calling for users of its app to update to the latest version of the app and to make sure that their mobile operating system is up to date to protect against targeted exploits designed to compromise information that is stored on the mobile devices. The... Read more...
Facebook recently revealed that it is working on cross-platform messaging between its three social media apps. Although the software rewrite is still in its infancy, it was immediately met with criticism and apprehension. Facebook’s intention of merging their messaging services has spurred concerns about privacy and calls for antitrust regulation. The New York Times reported last week that Facebook was developing software that would merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. The apps would remain separate, but their messaging services would be interoperable. Facebook’s goal is to increase user engagement and discourage users from turning to other messaging platforms. The software... Read more...
Facebook currently fosters three popular platforms that are [for the most part] distinct from its eponymous social network: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. All three platforms feature their own respective messaging component; Instagram users, for instance, can't use the app to contact users on WhatsApp. That will all change in the future, as Facebook is reportedly in the process of rebuilding its software infrastructure to allow cross-platform messaging from any of its standalone properties to another. According to reporting by the New York Times, the software rewrite is currently in its infancy and might not be made public until late 2019 or early 2020. By tying its various... Read more...
Facebook might be joining the blockchain party in a potentially big way, by developing its very own cryptocurrency that would enable users to transfer money over WhatsApp, the cross-platform messaging service the company acquired in early 2014 for $19 billion. On the surface, blockchain and WhatsApp seem like a natural fit. The appeal of WhatsApp is that it utilizes end-to-end encryption and is viewed as a secured messaging platform. It's also available to the public at large and boasts over 1.5 billion monthly users, who collectively send 60 billion messages every day, according to data Mark Zuckerberg provided for the fourth quarter of 2017. Those figures are undoubtedly even higher today.... Read more...
WhatsApp users have been forwarding a message around that some might find incredibly annoying. The message will cause the app to hang for a bit, after which it will then function normally. No malicious content is transferred with the message according to reports. The message reads "If you touch the black point your WhatsApp will hang." The message is then forwarded by a black dot and in some cases emojis. Naturally, a good portion of the people who get it can't resist the temptation to touch the black dot. As for why the message can cause WhatsApp to hang, it has to do with symbols included in the message that WhatsApp doesn’t recognize. Since the app doesn't recognize the characters,... Read more...
WhatsApp co-founder of Jan Koum is sitting on what is estimated to be a $9.1 billion fortune, and he will have plenty of time to enjoy that cash now that he has departed the company. That massive fortune came to Koum and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton when Facebook purchased their company back in 2009 for $22 billion in cash and stock. Acton and Koum haven't been very happy with Facebook, especially in recent months after the Cambridge Analytica privacy breach.  In fact, Acton led a charge to encourage people to delete Facebook, biting the hand that fed him billions. So, what is 42-year-old Koum going to do with the remainder of his days? Sitting on that $9.1 billion fortune, he can do... Read more...
Police around the world have been using fingerprints to catch criminals for decades. Normally these fingerprints are lifted from surfaces or objects at the scene of a crime. Police in Wales recently used a photograph of a finger to catch and convict 11 drug traffickers. The process of using fingerprints from a digital photo is hailed as groundbreaking. Dave Thomas of South Wales Police said that the police force will now analyze images more closely when it finds them on smartphones seized during investigations. In this case, the police seized a smartphone at a home where an anonymous tip informed police of potential drug activity. The phone was found to have WhatsApp messages that went back for... Read more...
After making billions of dollars from selling his messaging service to Facebook, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton says the time has come to move on from the world's most popular social networking service. He is not just talking about himself, either. Acton on Tuesday night tweeted, "It is time. #deletefacebook," using a hashtag that has been trending since the scandal with Cambridge Analytica made headlines. Image Source: Flickr via mkhmarketing / howtostartablogonline.net Acton previously worked at Yahoo before co-founding WhatsApp, a cross-platform mobile messaging service in 2009. Five years later, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, including $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook... Read more...
BlackBerry has seen better days, but it is trying to prove that it still has some life left in it by suing one of the biggest names in tech: Facebook. BlackBerry alleges that Facebook is infringing on its patents relating to BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). According to the Canadian company, it has been in talks with Facebook for several years over coming to an agreement on the use of the patented technology, however, BlackBerry feels that it has come to an impasse. BBM was an early way for BlackBerry users to send text messages (including images) to other BlackBerry uses while bypassing carrier fees. BBM originated at a time when carriers were still charging customers on a per-message basis, or bundled... Read more...
WhatsApp has launched a new app for Android users that is called WhatsApp Business. The free app is designed to allow small businesses to more easily connect with their customers. WhatsApp also figures that the new app will make it more convenient for the 1.3 billion people around the world that currently use WhatsApp to connect with businesses that matter most to them. WhatsApp wrote, “People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about — from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil. But WhatsApp was built for people and we want to improve the business experience. For example, by making it easier for businesses to respond... Read more...
WhatsApp is a communications tool that is used by people all around the world to stay connected for personal and business use. The big draw to the app for many is that it has an encrypted group chat feature, so you don’t need to worry that someone is listening in on what you are saying. However, security researchers have recently found a flaw with the app that could leave those encrypted group chats vulnerable to eavesdroppers. The security researchers do point out that the risk associated with the flaw is limited, because the hackers need to have access to WhatsApp servers to insert themselves into a group conversation. The fear for some people is that this security flaw will result in... Read more...
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