As it seems, a surveillance firm from Israel claims that it can breach the encryption on which WhatsApp relies. Wintego says that they can compromise the security of the data which is transmitted through encrypted conversations by using a program named CatchApp. At a recent policing event, the company handed out some brochures that further explain what they mean.
As it seems, CatchApp relies on a man-in-the-middle type of attack in order to intercept messages sent between two users. Apparently what is important here is the WINT, which is a device used for hacking that is small enough in order to be kept in the backpack. WINT can compromise all user data if it obtains login credentials and as such it’s a very priced tool in hacking.
However, WhatsApp wouldn’t be the first encrypted instant messaging application that would have some issues with security. Google has recently released their own messaging app that offers encryption, called Google Allo. According to Edward Snowden, the (in)famous whistleblower from the NSA, Google Allo is so insecure that it could be even named “Google Surveillance”. This further makes more people think that the apps ran by mega corporations such as Google and Facebook are not safe at all, thus making WhatsApp and Allo unreliable.
There is an ever increasing risk of losing data through hacks, especially since most companies are not able to properly protect their users’ information. Even Yahoo! has recently gone through a severe hack which resulted in compromising 500 million user accounts. Even the iOS 10, recently release by Apple, improves a brute force attack’s odds of stealing data by 2,500 times.
The paradox here is the fact that while everybody is trying to improve encryption methods and security measures, hackers also continuously working on developing more and more ways to hack into apps and get access to data.
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