A Vulnerability In WhatsApp Can Allow A Stalker To Know Who You’re Talking To And More

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Oct 10, 2017
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WhatsApp is one of the most popular internet messaging apps on the market. While there is great competition in the market, the Facebook-owned messaging service ensures that users around the globe receive all the latest features and extensions to those features. WhatsApp is a secure platform with end-to-end encryption embedded deeply in the system. Moreover, with its two-factor authentication system, the platform has gathered enough attraction from users around the world. This is one of the reasons why users prefer WhatsApp over other internet messaging apps on the market. However, there has been an exploit discovered within WhatsApp that could potentially allow an individual to know who is talking to who. So let’s dive in to see some more details on the subject and if there is a possible fix to it.

WhatsApp Vulnerability Can Be Exploited To Know Someone’s Sleeping Pattern As Well As Who They Talk to

There’s more to what an individual can find out about you apart from your conversations with someone. The vulnerability can be exploited to spy on your sleeping patterns as well. This will allow anyone, who is a bit of tech savvy on the inside, to know precisely at what time you go to sleep and when you wake up. This is the most absurd part, anyone with a little curiosity and a laptop can abuse the flaw which is part of WhatsApp.

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The issue basically originates from the ‘last seen’ and or the ‘online’ status of an individual. The feature basically allowed anyone or your friends to know when you were last available on WhatsApp. Even though you have the option available to hide your last seen status from WhatsApp, your online status would always appear active on the other person’s end.

You’re dying to know whether your friends Lara and Tara are secretly dating. You can’t help but write multi-variate cross-correlation software that shows a striking alignment between their WhatsApp usage patterns.

Basically, it all stems down to building patterns of your last seen and online status on WhatsApp. If you close WhatsApp and go offline and then return to read a specific message in order to reply it then this can be logged. Now, correlating the number of times when you do show up again online to reply to a message and when other people do the same can build up patterns. This, in the end, could allow anyone to identify that the two people are texting each other.

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setInterval(function() {
  var lastSeen = $('.pane-header .chat-body .emojitext').last().text();
  console.log(Math.floor(Date.now() / 1000) + ", " + lastSeen);
}, 1000);

The vulnerability was identified by a software engineer Rob Heaton. Stalking the sleeping pattern of an individual only requires a short four-line Javascript code. The basic concept is the same if an individual must correlate the online patterns of two or more users. However, it requires the use of a different code. There will be more to the story, so be sure to stay tuned in for more.

This is it for now, folks. What are your thoughts on the vulnerability found in WhatsApp? Do you think there will be a fix in the near future? Share your views with us in the comments.

Source: TNW

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