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Think Before WhatsApp Download: Major Web Security Flaw, Is Your Smartphone Hacked?

By Sounak Mukhopadhyay , Mar 17, 2017 04:10 AM EDT
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A major web security flaw in WhatsApp download might have made your phone vulnerable to hacking attacks. According to cyber security company Check Point, hackers can access to millions of user accounts by using the encryption software, which has been designed to prevent hacking attacks. The company calls it a “severe vulnerability.”

According to the Israeli company, WhatsApp and Telegram download might be risky at the moment. It refers to the earlier “Vault 7” release by WikiLeaks. The whistleblowing organization leaked more than 8,500 CIA documents, which indicate government organizations are capable of compromising end-to-end encrypted chat apps like Telegram and WhatsApp.

The cyber security company cautions users while downloading the web versions of these applications, Telegram Web and WhatsApp Web. In the web versions, users can check all the messages sent and received via the application. The user’s mobile uses end-to-end encryption during the process.

Hackers can use this web security flaw in WhatsApp download and fool the user with a digital image of a separately designed code, which would activate when the user views the image. Then, the code will spread just like a virus and send infected messages to the contacts. The company said that the vulnerability could allow hackers to take over users' accounts completely on any browser. They can access victims' personal and group conversations. They can also access contact lists, personal photos, videos and other shared files,  RT reported.

The Israeli company also said that the attackers can download personal images of the user and post those online. They can even send personal messages from the user’s account and can even use the account for criminal activities like demanding ransom.

It is unclear how many WhatsApp and Telegram accounts are at risk, the India Times reported. The company believes “hundreds of millions” are affected. It has informed both WhatsApp and Telegram about the issue. Both the companies claim to have released patch to resolve the issue.

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