Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) WhatsApp might not be as safe as the company says, as a security backdoor was discovered in the software by a researcher. The researcher that found the ‘security bug’ on January 13 was from University of California. This bug can make it possible for hackers to gain access to messages, even after end-to-end encryption.
This security bug means that any agency can see private messages of users and even their calls, once the service granted them the permission to do so. This discovery has users concerned, especially the ones who have political careers or are high-profile users. But people who use social media frequently have come to terms with how unsafe it really is and no matter what the service says or claims about its security, there is always a risk.
Facebook can intercept calls and messages from WhatsApp without the users even finding out. The social media network informed about this security bug but called it ‘normal risk’, thus there is doubt that the company would actually do anything about this bug. The service can resend undelivered messages without the users knowing or even their approval. The official website of the service also says that there is no solution as yet for this end-to-end encryption.
The service says that it has not given backdoor to the government for private messages and call even, though the system has millions of messages saved; even the ones undelivered. Facebook reported the backdoor in April last year via a blog post, but it did not do anything about it. The company said that it is a feature, not an issue, because when users change their phones and even their number, they will still receive the previous messages.
WhatsApp is used by millions of users around the globe and offers countless features, thus a ‘security bug’ would not stop users from using the service. It does say that it does not give access of private messages to law enforcement and other agencies. But nothing can be said for sure, as for users who think that their messages are safe and cannot be accessed, they might just be wrong.