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WhatsApp encryption is easily breakable, claims Israeli firm

Israel has seen a boom in the technology industry in the country recently. The third party player who helped the FBI unlock the iPhone 5c which saw Apple and the law enforcement agencies collide in the US courts was believed to have been an Israeli firm. Now another firm from the country has come out claiming that they can break the famed end to end encryption that is being used on the popular messaging service WhatsApp.

The security firm, Wintego, claimed that they could compromise some of the data which was sent on WhatsApp through a program of their own called CatchApp. According to the information contained in a brochure which the company recently sent out during a policing event, the program makes use of a man in the middle to be able to intercept the messages between the sender and the receiver. The ability to hack into the WhatsApp messages is believed to be contained in the WINT program, a hacking device which is small enough for it to be stored in a backpack and usually touted as a device good enough to get any data just by getting the login credentials.

If the claims are true, then WhatsApp would not be the first messaging service to be affected by the security issues. Google recently released their own encrypted messaging app, Halo, after receiving unending scrutiny over the market demand for the messaging privacy. However, experts such as former NSA contractor and turned whistleblower, Edward Snowden, believes that the Google app is not as secure as they claim, and it should just be renamed the Google Surveillance app.

Risks of data loss have been rising lately since the huge corporations are getting helpless in protecting all the huge data they receive. One internet giant, Yahoo, recently revealed that they had been hacked and the attackers had stolen at least 500 million user accounts. Apple also recently presented a flaw in their iOS 10, albeit by mistake, which allows hackers to brute force an Apple device 2,500 times without fail.

Privacy advocates and engineers are now faced with a big task in front of them to create stronger and secure apps and devices as hacking attempts continue and are increasing. Developers have a variety of tools in mind which would put the Tor security look like nothing, which can only be good news to the Internet user.

However, some governments have been working tooth and nail to block the use of encryption. France and Germany are at the forefront as they push the EU to introduce laws which would allow the respective governments to order the technology companies to create backdoors to their devices and apps so that they could use them for law enforcement use. Such a move would effectively ban the end to end encryption. The FBI is also ready in the US for another encryption fight but it plans to start it at least after the election.

About Ali Raza

Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.

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