WhatsApp gets support for end-to-end encryption

Nov

19

2014

WhatsApp gets built, standard enabled support for end-to-end encryption. The Android version of the popular messaging features that functionality, which ensures that WhatsApp itself can no longer read the messages.

WhatsApp Encrypted messages that were sent were already through WhatsApp, while ensuring that encryption was only between WhatsApp server and -user place. WhatsApp thereby manages the keys, so messages can be read by the messaging service, such as the police or intelligence services’ request.

In the new version of WhatsApp for Android messages are also standard end-to-end encrypted, reports Open Whisper, which takes the security of his account. End-to-end encryption, encryption is set up by the app on the phone of the interlocutors, where the key is stored. The server WhatsApp is not there to pass. Messages can therefore only be decrypted by the two interlocutors, and no longer by WhatsApp itself.

WhatsApp works for stronger encryption with Open Whisper Systems, the creator of the safe chat app Text Secure. According to the chief technology officer of the company, known hacker Moxie Marlinspike, was the biggest challenge in the collaboration to adapt the code for the hundreds of millions of users WhatsApp.

The new version of WhatsApp does not seem to be rolled out. The functionality has only been available for Android users, and not for users of iOS or Windows Phone. It is unclear if or when this will change. Both partners will need to have a suitable version of WhatsApp to take advantage of the improved security.

WhatsApp never had an overly good reputation in the field of security. Researchers knew several times to find serious security holes. Initially encrypted chat app messages and data at all, which were easy to intercept messages sent via public Wi-Fi hotspots. Later, the messages were well encrypted, but depending on the platform with the IMEI number or MAC address of the phone. However, the MAC address is remote to read.

WhatsApp is the first large, popular chat app that builds in support for end-to-end encryption and these will also enable standard. There are some apps like Text Secure, Cryptocat and Silent Text offering encrypted communication, but they are mainly used by privacy enthusiasts. Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption, but users must choose consciously.

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