WhatsApp and Telegram – Major Security Threat has Been Discovered
The known and reputable Check Point Software Technologies analyst team has recently published a report that showed that WhatsApp and Telegram’s security presents one major flaw. The security vulnerability in cause has been spotted on March 7th and it poses a major threat since it compromises private account information and more.
Desktop Version of WhatsApp and Telegram Presents Security Flaw that Compromises Account Information
On the bright side, Check Point Software Technologies decided to announce WhatsApp and Telegram one week in advance before making the information public. This way, both online text-messaging apps have had time to patch the vulnerability. Regarding the compromised accounts, Check Point estimates that hundreds of millions of accounts have been forcefully accessed.
We should mention that general users of WhatsApp and Telegram should be happy to know that their accounts haven’t been compromised. However, WhatsApp and Telegram users that have accessed the desktop editions should change their passwords as soon as possible.
How Does this Exploit Work?
The scariest thing about this vulnerability is that it’s fairly easy to use. On WhatsApp, all that hackers had to do was to send a malware embedded picture to the designated target. Right from the moment the target clicked on the picture, the hacker would instantly have have access to the targeted account. On the other hand, Telegram users had to open up the malware ridden picture in a new tab therefore offering entry to the hacker. The malware allowed hackers to get access to the target’s local storage partition. This is where this issue gets serious because hackers could simply copy all the private information they are able to find.
Even worse, once hackers manage to overtake the WhatsApp or Telegram account, they could have forwarded the picture to all of the user’s contacts. Family members and close friends will then automatically download the picture since they trust the hacked account. The process will then go on until hackers manage to download all the private information they were looking for.
Nonetheless, both WhatsApp and Telegram moved quick and rolled out a software fix as soon as they found out about this exploit. We can be sure that both companies are going to pay more attention to security from now on.