WhatsApp is hitting the headlines these days as it has become a platform for the spread of fake news. In the wake of such criticism, the platform started making changes to curb the same. However, the recent claim has again taken it to the headlines raising questions regarding its encryption and security.
As per researchers at Israeli cybersecurity firm CheckPoint, WhatsApp is discovered to have a flaw that will let hackers modify and send fake messages. The vulnerability is touted to let a hacker intercept and manipulate the messages sent in a group or individual chat. It can also contribute to the creation and spread of fake information.
WhatsApp flaw discovered!
The CheckPoint report comes at a time when the company is already facing high scrutiny as the messaging platform is used to spread fake information. The major reasons for the same are the popularity of the platform and the convenience it provides to forward messages to groups.
The cybersecurity firm has come up with a video detailing how a hacker can manipulate the messages and send fake messages on WhatsApp. Take a look at the video from here.
In response to the claim by CheckPoint, WhatsApp says, "This claim has nothing to do with the security of end-to-end encryption, which ensures only the sender and recipient can read messages sent on WhatsApp."
WhatsApp takes measures to curb the issue
Lately, the Facebook-owned messaging platform imposed limits on message forwarding. The Indian government is keen to curb the spread of fake news and lynching activities killing over 20 people by crazed mobs triggered by WhatsApp forwards related to child trafficking and other crimes. Eventually, the platform turned to impose a limit allowing users to send forwarded messages only to 5 contacts or groups.
Also, the company started putting a 'forwarded label' on the forwarded messages so that users get to know if they have received a genuine message or a forward. Likewise, the messaging platform started displaying a suspicious link warning on the links that users receive if the same is not a genuine one. The fake or malicious links might have a slight error in the text or some special characters those might go unnoticed.
In addition to all these, WhatsApp recent brought in changes to group chats to tackle the spread of misinformation among groups. This change has put the group admins to trouble and there are a few cases wherein admins have been detained and are behind the bars for no mistake of theirs.