WhatsApp vulnerabilities 'put words in your mouth,' lets hackers take over conversations

WhatsApp flaws could allow hackers to alter messages: Cybersecurity firm

A security firm has uncovered a WhatsApp flaw that allows hackers to alter your messages. In the sample, the boss's message was altered to increase the supposed raise from $500 to $1,500.

Facebook said the WhatsApp bugs were due to "limitations that can't be solved due to their structure and architecture", according to the Financial Times.

The other vulnerabilities have yet to be addressed and Check Point "found that it is still possible to manipulate quoted messages and spread misinformation from what appear to be trusted sources".

As per the report, the vulnerability could be exploited in three ways, all of which involve social engineering tactics to fool end-users. At the conference, researchers presented the tool that they created to exploit WhatsApp's vulnerabilities in hopes that it would provoke discussion on the matter and to raise awareness that this is something that might be happening.

The spokesperson from Facebook said that the issue has been reviewed a year ago, and that it is wrong to suggest that there could be something wrong with the security that Facebook provides on WhatsApp. The second flaw involves adjustment of a reply in what the researcher's term as to "put words in people's mouths".

The third is the sending of a "private" message to another group participant which is actually masked as a public message, and so when responded to, everyone in a conversation can see the content.

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Head of products vulnerabilities at Check Point, Oded Vanunu, and his team explained the reason why they are presenting about vulnerabilities at the Black hat.

A discovery by a professor from IIT Madras has helped point out that Whatsapp is capable of tracking the origin of any message on its platform.

The issue is that WhatsApp makes use of end-to-end encryption. Governments also use WhatsApp for government to citizen communication.

It is unclear exactly if and when an updated version of WhatsApp containing the content moderation system might be deployed to user's devices. With this security flaw, attackers can easily create and spread misinformation and make it appear as if it came from authentic sources.

Threat actors could take advantage of severe vulnerabilities in the immensely popular WhatsApp messaging application in order to tamper with message replies and sender identities, or to get victims to share information meant for a private chat in a group conversation, Check Point researchers warn. Facebook, however, are disputing the issue, according to The Daily Telegraph.

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