Researchers at Israeli cybersecurity firm said Wednesday they had discovered a flaw in WhatsApp that might permit hackers to modify and send phony messages in the popular social messaging app.
CheckPoint said the vulnerability gives a hacker the possibility “to intercept and manipulate messages sent out by those in a group or private discussion” as well as “produce and spread false information”.
The report of the defect comes as the Facebook-owned business is coming under increasing examination as a way of spreading misinformation due to its appeal and convenience for forwarding messages to groups.
Last month, the app revealed limitations of forwarding messages following risks by the Indian government to take action after more than 20 people were butchered by crazed mobs after being accused of kid kidnapping and other criminal activities in viral messages distributed extremely on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp stated in a declaration: “We carefully examined this issue and it’s the equivalent of altering an email to make it appear like something a person never ever wrote.”
Nevertheless, WhatsApp stated: “This claim has nothing to do with the security of end-to-end encryption, which ensures only the sender and recipient can read messages sent on WhatsApp.”
The app noted it recently placed a limitation on forwarding material, included a label to forwarded messages, and made a series of changes to group talks in order to tackle the obstacle of false information.
Established in 2009 and acquired by Facebook in 2014, WhatsApp stated that at the beginning of the year it had more than 1.5 billion users who exchanged 65 billion messages daily.