Can Secure Apps Like Signal and WhatsApp Get Hacked?

With the increasing use of instant messaging apps day by day, their efficiency and comfort make it difficult for people to think of any other alternative channel in communication. Mobile messaging apps such as WeChat and WhatsApp continue to dominate the world, followed by Telegram and Signal. As these messaging apps are used heavily in different industries, especially in the business and stock market, the demand for a high level of security is high.

With the user’s privacy and security in mind, most IM applications have different ways of ensuring data privacy. Services offered by these applications vary, and these are the following: end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, WhatsApp call recording, and manual or auto-deletion

of sent messages.

Looking out for Vulnerabilities

As IMs are secured using the earlier mentioned systems, individuals and organizations are also looking for weaknesses in these IM apps. Groups such as CERT-In or Computer Emergency Response Team in India respond to computer security incidents when they happen. One of their issued “high” severity rating advisories was toward WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business v. android users and iOS users of the same apps with the 2.21.32 version.

CERT-In found multiple vulnerabilities which may allow cybercriminals to access “sensitive types of information on a targeted system.”  With this, the group advised WhatsApp users in their country to update their IM app to the latest version to cancel the possible threat to its users.

Another company, Cellebrite, developed a method in accessing the highly secure instant messaging app Signal. Because of this, the company revisited Signal compliance, and the company took adequate measures to avoid any further attempts. Cellebrite is a company that helps private and public investigators in Israel on cases that involve a digital investigation.

Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram all offer end-to-end encryption to improve their security. Although security protocols protect privacy and security, it is better to be vigilant when using mobile chat apps.

Continue reading information about security protocols of IM apps through this infographic.