How WhatsApp’s Security Mechanism Stands Out From Other Encryptions13th March 2019
“It is found that WhatsApp security is the highest-notch of encryption that doesn’t allow hackers to glide into individual and group chats”
The world’s largest messaging app in terms of the user base has updated its security feature “End-to-End Encryption” for its 1 billion users worldwide. WhatsApp encompasses tricky elements of security ranges where the encryption for group chatting and individual is quite hard and trickiest encryption.
When WhatsApp added the highest degree of security, it raised to encounter the privacy of digital communication worldwide.
The History of Encryption at a Glance
- WhatsApp rolled out the information that it has joined “Facebook” in the year 2014 which turned to be one of the most historic changes that a social application experienced.
- Later, in the year 2016, WhatsApp announced in its blog post that it would begin to share a limited amount of information or data with its parent company Facebook.
- In August 2016, WhatsApp rolled out the End-to-end encryption stating that the messages between the two users are encrypted by default. The messages are wholly encrypted which means you’re the one who can read the messages, not even WhatsApp, Facebook, nor anyone else.
- Later WhatsApp updated a Legal page affirming “Your Messages are yours, and we can’t read them at any cause.” We’ve built end-to-end encryption, security features, privacy that doesn’t store it once they get delivered.
- Here comes Mark Zuckerberg saying, We don’t see any of your content in WhatsApp, it is totally encrypted.
- But the potentiality of accessing the WhatsApp chat and call history is possible. There is no such evidence that it has done it before. But an android user found their call history and SMS data had been collected by Facebook.
The Significant Pitfall in the Confidentiality of Group Chat
A group of researchers from the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany found the significant gaps in the WhatsApp security. They say that anyone who controls the server can insert new users into the group effortlessly without the permission of the administrator.
“The confidentiality of the group is fully broken where an uninvented user can acquire all message and read them”
If it is end-to-end encryption for both the group and two-party communication, adding of new members should be protected against, If not, the value for encryption is totally diminished.
As the solid battle between national security and privacy is gaining more of delusion. The Government and secret service are asking the encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp to allow them to access user data for suspicious terrorist information. Coming to the actual action, What’s all about encryption?
What is Encryption and How it Works?
Encryption is simply a way of exchange of messages between two users in a secure platform. This was the earlier security system used by WhatsApp. Getting into the actual working of it, let us consider a user “A” wants to send a message with user ”B” in a secure way. It puts the message into the box and locks with a key. The locked message is sent to her user “B” where he only can open and read the messages with his own valid key.
In order to communicate with new persons, sharing of keys is applicable which is still secure. A public key is used to unlock and proves the identity of the users and a private key that stays with the user.
The Observations You Should Know End-to-End Encryption
When a user “A” tends to send a message to user “B”, the plaintext is encrypted with a secret key to produce CipherText. Once the process is over, CipherText uses the same Secret key to recover plain text. This is the process followed in the previous encryption model.
Instead of one secret key, WhatsApp uses two keys where one key will encrypt data and another will decrypt.
Here comes the private key which is kept yourself called private key where no one can decrypt the message except the holder of that private key. This is how the End-to-end encryption and chat security in WhatsApp works.
There is always a backdoor for every software developed in the market. If WhatsApp would add a backdoor to the software then it would no longer be a secure messaging platform. The actual problem is not about removal of end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp, is about how other third-party agencies or hackers access the private messages or use the platform for their own purpose, this would create chances of ordinary people to lose their own private messages.
How WhatsApp’s Security Mechanism Stands Out From Other Encryptions was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.