New security flaw allows hackers to eavesdrop on your WhatsApp chats

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Security experts have claimed that hackers and spies could intercept your private WhatsApp conversations.

The messaging giant added ‘end-to-end encryption’ two years ago, which it was thought to have made messaging more secure as the messages were scrambled so that they could only be read by those who were intended to receive them.

However, security experts from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany said hackers or spies with access to WhatsApp servers could, in theory at least, invite members into other people’s chats without them knowing, allowing them to eavesdrop the conversation.

‘The confidentiality of the group is broken as soon as the uninvited member can obtain all the new messages and read them,’ Paul Rösler, a Ruhr University researchers, told Wired.

If anybody wanted to gain access to other people’s DMs into would need to infiltrate WhatsApp’s servers, effectively meaning it would need to be an extremely skilled hacker, an employee or a member of the intelligence services.

It would also require the said person or persons to hide their presence once they had gained access to the chat – which is difficult but apparently not impossible.

WhatsApp said it had ‘carefully looked’ at the flaw and reassured users that their encrypted messages were safe.

‘Existing members are notified when new people are added to a WhatsApp group,’ it said.

‘We built WhatsApp so group messages cannot be sent to a hidden user. The privacy and security of our users is incredibly important to WhatsApp. It’s why we collect very little information and all messages sent on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted.’

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