WhatsApp vulnerability: all the possible risks

With more tan 1.5 billions of users all over the world, WhatsApp is the most commonly known and used messaging service. Due to the use of the end-to-end encryption, it is often considered safe, but is it really so? Not exactly, judging by the last bug that has been found in its systems, which has made it possible to spy on a non-specified number of devices. Let’s go seeing what happened and what risks we could face because of an unwise use of WhatsApp for our private and professional conversations.

The spyware Pegasus scandal

It’s been a little bit more than a month from when the technicians of the messaging clientele have admitted they’ve been victims of a hacker, inviting all the users to update the app. A WhatsApp vulnerability has, indeed, permitted the installation of a spyware created from NSO Group, an Israeli company of cybersecurity. This malware, known as Pegasus, worked as a sort of Troian horse, allowing you to access to a huge quantity of data existing in the smartphone. Potentially, the aggressors were capable of controlling, not just e-mails, photos, documents, contacts and messages, but also cameras, michropone and GPS.
The major critical issue concerned the fact that the hackers attack didn’t allow any possibility of defence: indeed, it was sufficient to receive a WhatsApp call, even without responding. No one was safe, that’s why Pegasus ended up hitting all the devices, independently from the brand, the model and the operative system. The emergency seems to be already passed, but it brought up again the discussion about the inadequacy of the safety and privacy systems of the famous app. How long is it going to take before the spreading of another spyware that’s capable of hacking the system?

WhatsApp Web Traps

WhatsApp Web is the desktop version of WhatsApp, a very useful resource for whose spend many hours in front of the screen. You use it connecting the smartphone and the computer through a QR-Code, a fast and intuitive operation that allows us to update and manage from the browser our chats. This method semplifies, anyway, also the work of the attackers, giving them a shorter way to spy our conversations. It is enough, indeed, to have access to a phone for just a few seconds, in order to associate it to a browser. The dangers become even more if you use shared computers, beacause there’s always the risk of leaving the session open.

The bug of the deleted messages

Bad news for who thinks that it’s sufficient deleting a message on WhatsApp to eliminate every track. Among the weaknesses of the app, there’s also the possibility to recover the trashed contents, exploiting the backup functionalities. How? It’s easy: first, you have to uninstall the app, then reinstall and restore the backup copy, which will have all the contents, included the ones we have removed. To understand the dangers we are exposed to, because of the vulnerabilities of WhatsApp, just think about the quantity of information, conveyed by the app, everyday. The risk is elevated, especially for companies, and also for the ones which don’t use officially the platform to communicate. A non-updated device of an employee could, indeed, jeopardise sensitive data and reserved info, creating economical damages, hard to count.

Do you want to know how to put in safe your business? Get in touch with us today, one of our consultants is at your disposal to clarify every doubt!

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