Jan Koum, the CEO of WhatsApp announced that the next version of the application is going to include the option of being notified if someone screenshots your conversation. This is an option requested by a lot of users lately, and according to him “after all these years, we’ve reached the conclusion to add it”.
“The functioning is simple, just like the blue tick: You will have the option activated by default. If it’s checked, you’ll be notified if someone screenshots your conversation, and others will be notified if you screenshot theirs. If it’s unchecked, no one gets notified”, stated Koum.
Some users are pissed by this feature, but it’s not that bad at all.
The app took a step further to protect its users’ privacy by encrypting all messages and calls made using its app. However, reports suggest that the messenger may not be as secure as everybody perceived it to be.
The resources said, there is a serious flaw in WhatsApp that allows Facebook to intercept any message or call, without the users knowing it. The only prompt for a security breach is available if WhatsApp users previously allowed their phones to receive notifications.
According to University of California cryptography and security researcher Tobias Boelter, it can be exploited by changing the security key and resending the message. This workaround can virtually make WhatsApp accessible, including those privileged calls and messages.
Boelter explained that WhatsApp uses the random generation of security keys to ensure end-to-end encryption. However, offline users can force WhatsApp to generate new encryption keys, thus making the messages vulnerable to middlemen.
Make no mistake about it, there is no evidence to suggest that WhatsApp has intentionally used the exploit to intercept messages. Even Facebook was informed about this flaw but replied that this app behavior is “acceptable.” Meaning, there is no stopping of resending undelivered messages even without the authorization of users. The WhatsApp website also clears that there is no remedy yet to turn off this end-to-end encryption.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp stressed that it is not giving any backdoor access to governments or any entities for those private messages and calls. The current system has saved millions of undelivered messages from being lost since they will be sent automatically anyway.