For the founders, it was one of the most important Features: All of the messages in Whatsapp are encrypted. Not even the operators of Facebook itself can read according to its own data Chats of its users. The hackers Roman Zaikin and Oded Vanunu managed to do well anyway. And they could still do much more with the news.
“Actually, what apps ensures end-to-end encryption to ensure that only you and the interlocutor will see on the news,” said the security experts at the Hacker-fair Black. “We have managed, however, to reconstruct the program code from Whatsapp Web. And were able to decode this successfully Chats.” Whatsapp Web allows users to use the Messenger in a Browser window on the Computer.
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However, the Israeli software company Check Point employees, hackers did not stop at Reading. After they had discovered that the news about the Protobuf2 Protocol were encrypted, they were able to, to be able to the content of the Chats from the outside to manipulate. This was achieved in three variants:
The hackers were able to manipulate the content of replies to other users, so words in the mouth using the reply function you could change in group Chats, the identity of the sender, even if they are not part of group Chats-the most exciting, possibility is that The hackers were. manipulated messages in group Chats to send the goods only for a Chat-participants to be visible This Person could not recognize, had to accept that all the others had read it also.
According to the Hacker, it was just closed, the last point of attack of Whatsapp, after you had reported the error. Both other remained exploitable.
An important restriction: The hackers needed for the Manipulation of the security key of the user. In theory, this is about other attacks by tapping, in practice, this is likely to happen but only in very selected users. Most people do not have to make a Manipulation of the chat Concerns. The encryption itself has not been broken.
The biggest potential of the Hacks to see the explorers to spread miss information. “Attackers get very powerful tools to manipulate messages in private and group chats. This gives you tremendous opportunities to create false information and spreading it over a seemingly trusted sources. Especially in relation to large group chats as they are in the case of political groups, the popular, the potential for Abuse is very great.”
communication: It doesn’t have to be Whatsapp: five secure Messenger-Alternative Fullscreen
The Messenger Signal is not only for many customers, the Alternative to Whatsapp – but also one of the founders. Years after he had earned with the sale of Whatsapp billion, left, Brian Acton, Facebook, presumably in a dispute over the safety of the Messengers. Then he put millions in a Signal. There, privacy and well-being: The operator can’t read the Chats, even the to the search for other users uploaded to the phone-books to be encrypted before and in a for the company’s non-recoverable Form (“Hash”), compared with each other. The for Desktop, Android and iOS App, available free of charge.
Whatsapp is responding operators, Facebook sees it differently. “We have tested the theme a year ago, carefully and it is wrong to assume that there is a vulnerability in the security of WhatsApp,” said a Facebook spokesperson on Thursday. Consider the Whatsapp underlying Signal Protocol more than secure.
Facebook is working to lift the Chats of Whatsapp, the Facebook Messenger and Instagram on a platform. In addition, Mark Zuckerberg promised that the whole network wool increasingly on encryption value. In may it became known that the Criminals had replaced on millions of Smartphones Whatsapp with a malicious software.
Update 15. August: The original Version of the text, leaving the impression that the encryption itself was cracked. This is not due to the necessary access to the security key of the case.
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