WhatsApp, for those unfamiliar, is one of the more popular instant messaging apps in the world. It was also recently acquired by Facebook. However it seems that despite the app being somewhat solid and good to use, there are some security flaws in the app itself which opens it up to hackers who wish to get their hands on message history.
This is according to Bas Bosschert, a technical consultant who has more than 10 years of experiencing with Linux and Unix, who claims to have recently discovered a flaw in which developers or hackers will be able to access WhatsApp users’ message history.
Given that WhatsApp stores your message history on your phone’s memory, this trick will allow the hacker to gain permission to access that information, which can then be downloaded and saved onto another device, or in the case of incriminating information, can be used to blackmail the user as well.
In fact what makes this flaw so scary is that the code could be added to any type of app. For example he claims that it could be added to games so that when the game shows a loading screen, in reality it is hiding the fact that the WhatsApp message history is being uploaded to the hacker’s database.
Google has attempted to protect its users by banning apps that collect information without the user’s knowledge, although we guess it would impossible to catch them all. One way that users can check is by going through the app’s permissions before downloading it, and also avoiding third party app stores might be a good idea as well.
It is unclear what WhatsApp will do to address these concerns, but hopefully something will be done soon for the sake of their users’ privacy.