How can your WhatsApp be hacked, in this 8 ways your WhatsApp can be hacked
Popular messaging platform WhatsApp has become a talking point for a while now. It comes with several security features, such as the use of end-to-end encryption to keep messages private. Despite such features, hackers try various methods and means to compromise the privacy of their messages and contacts.
Check out the eight ways that WhatsApp can be hacked:
1. Remote Code Execution via GIF
Security researcher Aware had earlier revealed a vulnerability in WhatsApp that basically allows hackers to take control of the app with the help of a GIF image. It works in such a way that hackers take advantage of the way WhatsApp works when the user opens the gallery view to send a media file.
After that, the app parses the GIF to show a preview of the file. GIF files have multiple encoded frames which means that many codes are hidden within the image.
If a hacker plans to send a malicious GIF to a user, they can hack into the user’s entire chat history and they may even know that along with all the files, photos and files sent via WhatsApp Sending message to user. The vulnerability affected versions of WhatsApp on Android 8.1 and 9 up to 2.19.230.
2. Pegasus Voice Call Attack
The Pegasus voice call attack was discovered in early 2019. With this attack, the hackers gain access to the device by making a WhatsApp voice call and even if the user does not make the call, the attack will be successful. The user is also unaware of the fact that malware has been installed on their device.
The attack installed a large and well-known piece of spyware called Pegasus which basically allows hackers to collect data on phone calls, messages, photos and videos. This lets them activate the device’s camera and microphone to take recordings.
Such an attack was used by the Israeli firm NSO Group, which was accused of spying on Amnesty International employees and other human rights activists. After breaking the hack, WhatsApp was updated to protect against this attack.
3. Socially Engineered Attacks
WhatsApp is vulnerable through socially engineered attacks because it exploits human psychology to steal information or spread false information.
Security firm Checkpoint Research uncovered an attack called Foxapt that allowed people to abuse the quote feature in group chats and change the text of another person’s reply. Taking advantage of this, hackers can plant fake statements that appear to be from other legitimate users.
This was possible by decrypting WhatsApp communications and it allowed them to see the data sent between the mobile version and the web version of WhatsApp.
They can then change the value in a group chat and impersonate other people, sending messages as they appear. Text answers can also be changed.
4. Media File Jacking
Media file jacking harshly affects both WhatsApp and Telegram. This attack takes advantage of the way that apps get media files like photos or videos and write those files to the device’s external storage.
The attack starts by installing malware hidden inside an app and then monitoring incoming files for Telegram or WhatsApp.
5. Facebook can spy on WhatsApp chats
In a blog post, WhatsApp implied that because it uses end-to-end encryption, Facebook cannot read WhatsApp content:
“When you and people you know are using the latest version of WhatsApp, your messages are encrypted by default, which means you’re the only person who can read them. Over the months we sync with Facebook, your encrypted messages remain private and no one can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else.”
However, a developer named Gregorio Zainen disagreed with WhatsApp, saying that not every message is private and that on iOS 8 and up operating systems, apps can access files in “shared containers”.
The Facebook and WhatsApp apps both do the same sharing container on the device. While chats are encrypted when sent, they are not necessarily encrypted on the originating device. This means that the Facebook app could potentially copy information from the WhatsApp app.
6. Paid Third Party Apps
Third party legal apps have sprung into the market and are being used to hack secure systems and may be used by large companies to work hand in hand with repressive regimes to target activists and journalists ; or by cybercriminals with the intention of obtaining your personal information.
Apps like Spyzy and MSP can easily hack into your WhatsApp account by stealing your personal data. The user just needs to purchase the app, install it and activate it on the target phone.
7. Fake WhatsApp Clone
Fake website clones can be used to install malware and