According to experts, WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption doesn’t really work, because the application fails in deleting chats, leaving “forensic traces” of messages, which can be retrieved when using certain programs and codes. To prove his point, famous blogger zdziarski has installed WhatsApp and started chatting with some friends, then he deleted, cleared and archived the messages. Also, he made a backup and his suspicions turned out to be true: WhatsApp’s database kept the deleted SQLite records.
From zdziarski’s experiment, it resulted that the deleted messages are not removed from the secured device, but the bigger problem is that these messages are thrown out in the open and hackers are able to collect them. So, if users are usually sharing personal information, or they’re sending nude photos, hackers will get their hands on those deleted messages and they’ll use them to extort money from their targets.
However, zdziarski suggests users to delete WhatsApp completely from their device, and to reinstall it. The entire chat history will be deleted from their phones, which means that there will no longer be any “forensic traces” of the deleted messages. It’s important to remove the application occasionally, just to prevent possible unpleasant situations.
WhatsApp is unable to fix this problem, so if you care about your privacy, you’ll have two choices: either avoid sharing information about your bank account and be careful what photos you are sending, or uninstall WhatsApp from time to time.
On the other hand, a UAE-based NGO has found out that WhatsApp Web is vulnerable to hacking. According to Mohammed Mustafa, the head of E-Safe, “Anyone can borrow your smartphone and simply link the web browser to the messenger app. You will not even be aware if someone else is going through your messages.”
If you’ve installed WhatsApp on your Android smartphone, then you can install the latest 2.16.213 beta update directly from the Google Play Store, if you’re a Beta Tester.