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05.14.19 | The messaging platform WhatsApp is well known for its end-to-end encryption, but recent news calls its security into question. The NSO Group, an Israeli spy firm, injected malware onto targeted phones in order to steal data by simply placing a phone call. The targets didn't even need to pick up, and there was often no trace in the call log. It seems the group targeted only a few high-profile activists, so you're probably safe, but you should download the latest update, just in case.

Know if your WhatsApp account is hacked and used by others and how to secure WhatsApp from attack.

A rogue user can access the chat even with locked WhatsApp account. They will target the WhatsApp Chat log, images, videos and other media in the File Manager they can send the files to there device or they can use auto-backup apps like Backup Text for WhatsApp and directly email all your WhatsApp conversations in plain text.

This is a very serious type of threat and many people don’t know it.

The moment you suspect unusual activity in your WhatsApp account, then it is no doubt someone is poking their nose in your WhatsApp chats and conversations.

If they are using WhatsApp web, then you can confirm this by:

  1. Open Whatsapp on your phone,
  2. Tap on the 3 vertical dots on the top right
  3. Then tap on WhatsApp web, a new window will open,
  4. Here see the list of last used clients, if you don’t recognize it, then chances are someone is hacking into your conversations and WhatsApp activities on your phone.

To Stop this

To stop this even if you're not sure just tap on each computer/devices in the list and Log out the device, do this for all listed. This will stop the hacker from accessing your activities, this should be a caution for you to always check this in case you see any devices your not familiar with so you can remove them.

Know if WhatsApp is Open on Another Device | 2nd Way

Another way in which persons can spy WhatsApp is activating the account in another device. Basically, they register your WhatsApp number in another mobile and during their configuration, they recover all your chats or conversations saved in the application. Anyone can do this by taking your cell phone, to receive the verification code that WhatsApp sends.

If such a thing is done then on your phone then you will be greeted with the message “This phone could not be verified” because the number is registered on another device.

*WhatsApp should not work on two phones at the same time but hackers can get hold of all chats like personal data if register it on another device.

You can re-verify your number to regain the account access.

Enable WhatsApp Two Factor Authentication and Protect Your Account from getting Activated on other Device

To Protect Your WhatsApp Account from getting Activated on other Device WhatsApp introduced two-factor authentication. When you have two-step verification enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit PIN that you created using this feature. To enable two-step verification, open:

WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable.

When this is enabled, you can enter the email address that will allow WhatsApp to send you a link via email to disable two-step verification in case you ever forget your six-digit PIN.

Block Installation From Unknown Sources

Allowing installation of apps on your phone from unknown sources leaves your phone vulnerable for hacking in case someone gets access to your phone. It is very helpful to block access to the 'file manager' on your phone.

Also, you should lock the play store and settings to stop installation from unknown sources. Always install apps from Google play store. Please check developer details, ratings, reviews of any app before install on your phone.

Sources

Various: seems that while this is well publicised most articles on this subject seem to be badly copy pasted with little or no due diligence, I tidy up and verified what I can, if I find I good article on the subject I post the source here.

https://www.wired.com/story/whatsapp-hack-intel-vulnerability-todays-news/

on Saturday May 25 by Peter Atkin
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