WhatsApp is the world’s largest messaging app with over 2 billion active users worldwide, and the company behind it says all communications are encrypted. Well, in reality this is not the case, and this is because the German intelligence service BKA is able to exploit the platform to read the messages of criminals, and without installing any software on their phones to retrieve the messages.
WhatsApp can have read text messages, videos, pictures, and everything that those sent to each other without let them know, the German authorities having revealed everything in a trial against two terrorists. The two carried out an attack in a Christmas fair in Berlin, and the federal prosecutors who investigated them used as evidence in the process messages intercepted from the WhatsApp account of one of them, these being provided by the BKA service.
WhatsApp: Information Service that EXPLOITED the Application
WhatsApp has a vulnerability in the WhatsApp Web system that allows exploitation to intercept messages, and this is the only thing known so far about the BKA method to spy. Specifically, after the arrest of the terrorists, the authorities somehow managed to access the messages visible through WhatsApp Web, and so they gathered evidence that eventually led to the prosecution of the terrorists.
“The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) uses a simple method to track encrypted conversations with WhatsApp, and this apparently works entirely without the use of surveillance software or other programs, complexes installed on the mobile phone of the data subject. To read the chats, the authority uses the WhatsApp Web function. For this, the investigators apparently used the option to connect the application to the web browser on a computer. With this feature, all the content of the chat service is mirrored in a browser window. ”
WhatsApp has not commented on this situation so far, and most likely will not do so because it does not put it in such a good situation. On the other hand, what the Germans from BKA do with WhatsApp should not be a big surprise, and that’s because the messaging platform is not one of the most secure on the planet, and it has had many vulnerabilities revealed.
WhatsApp says it encrypts all messages we send or receive, but if you also use WhatsApp Web, then it is good to know that you may not benefit from these security measures.