Israeli cybersecurity firm discovers flaw that enables fake WhatsApp messages

Ceria Alfonso
Agosto 10, 2018

"Since people have been murdered in India and Brazil due to fake Whatsapp messages, and since Whatsapp is admissible evidence in courts around the world, we decided we couldn't keep it to ourselves", he said.

The vulnerability could make it possible for a hacker "to intercept and manipulate messages sent by those in a group or private conversation" as well as "create and spread misinformation", CheckPoint said on Wednesday.

As of 31 March, more than 460 million Indian users were on social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp.

In response to these notices, WhatsApp had outlined initiatives it is taking to curb fake news circulation, including education and advocacy efforts.

WhatsApp users are being warned of a newly-discovered attack that lets hackers infiltrate your private messages and group chats. This helps the user identify it as not being a firsthand information making it a potential fake news. WhatsApp especially has been under a lot of scrutiny after fake messages on its platform led to several cases of mob lynchings in India.

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Following calls from the government to stem the platform's misuse, WhatsApp has moved to deter mass message forwards and launched an advertising campaign to educate consumers. "Every user has a number on WhatsApp but WhatsApp has no number through which its user can contact it for grievance redressal", says the plea from the New Delhi-based organisation. However, it has been noted that the forwarded message can be copied and shared again to multiple chats.

"We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we'll continue to improve our app with features like this one", it said in an earlier statement.

The petition also said the social media giant does not comply with tax and other laws of India but its reach is such that it is used by everyone, be it a commoner or the judges of the apex court. With that, the forwarded label does not appear.

As per a source of India's telecommunications department, the letter was targeted at exploring ways to block the apps during the situations of emergency.

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