Beware! WhatsApp Groups May Not Be As Secure As You May Think

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WhatsApp groups received several new features last year including the ability to share invite links. With these invite links, users can join groups that might interest them. Group admins can revoke the invite links at any point. While these are private WhatsApp groups, a new controversy broke revealing the threat involved in the same.

WhatsApp Group Invite Links Vulnerability
 

A report by Motherboard revealed that Google indexed the invite links that let users join private WhatsApp groups. This means that anyone can join private chat groups with just a simple search. As soon as the report started making rounds on the tech headlines, Google appears to have modified the search results in order to stop the invite links from appearing.

Anyone Can Access Any WhatsApp Group

Anyone Can Access Any WhatsApp Group

The invite links to join various WhatsApp group chats were accessible via Google on searching ‘site:chat.whatsapp.com'. Since long, the invite links vulnerability have been argued to be accessible publicly and could be very harmful if the details fall into the wrong hands. Eventually, anyone can enter a group and access the details of members and the conversations.

Moreover, Motherboard claims that they have found various private groups with relevant Google searches. What's more shocking is that they have joined a UK accredited NGO group, got access to the members of the group and their contact details too.

WhatsApp’s Response
 

WhatsApp’s Response

On the wake of this controversy, Alison Bonny, a WhatsApp spokesperson, said, "Like all content that is shared in searchable public channels, invite links that are posted publicly on the internet can be found by other WhatsApp users. The links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website."

What We Think

What We Think

Though Google has modified the search results and stopped the WhatsApp group invite links from being shown on the internet, this is a major vulnerability as it can expose your group members and private chats. Eventually, WhatsApp users need to keep in mind that your WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you may think them to be.

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