WhatsApp


'WhatsApp' Articles

WhatsApp Security Flaw Leaves 'Trace of All Your Chats' Even After Deletion

Popular third-party chat app WhatsApp is leaving a "forensic trace" of every supposedly deleted chat log, meaning anyone with access to your smartphone -- or another device connected through the cloud -- could potentially access data from the app. The discovery comes from iOS researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, who shared the information in a blog post after discovering the potential security flaw in the latest version of WhatsApp (via The Verge). Zdziarski tested out his theory by beginning a few chat threads, then archiving, clearing, and deleting them, but found that none of the app's deletion methods, even Clear All Chats, "made any difference in how deleted records were preserved." The central flaw appeared to be in the app's SQLite records, which retained the deleted chats in its database that could be accessed by a harmful individual with the right "popular forensics tools." In his post, Zdziarski mentioned that the problem isn't unique to WhatsApp, and has even gone into detail about "forensic trace leakage" in Messages on iOS and OS X, and ways Apple could address such privacy issues, in a separate blog post. He explained succinctly that short-lived chats between friends and family using these apps are "not ephemeral on disk," which not only could be a cause for concern with users, but could allow law enforcement legal access to thought-to-be-deleted WhatsApp messages thanks to the lack of encrypted communication between WhatsApp and iCloud. The core issue here is that ephemeral communication is not ephemeral on disk. This is a problem that Apple has struggled

WhatsApp Update Brings Video Recording Zoom and Bigger Emojis

WhatsApp developers pushed out a new update for the hugely popular messenger platform today that includes a couple of new video and chat features for iOS users. The main change for users who record video through the app is that they now have the ability to zoom in and out while recording, simply by sliding a finger up and down the screen. On the interface front, WhatsApp developers have added an Edit option to the chat thread tab to make it easier to archive, delete or mark as read multiple chats in one go. Elsewhere, individual chat threads are faster to load and can now be scrolled through continuously, rather than users being confronted by requests to 'scroll again' in order to access earlier parts of the same thread. In addition, singular emojis now show up bigger when sent within a thread (only the heart emoji showed bigger previously). A new WhatsApp Web/Desktop section has also been added to the Settings screen for users to adjust account login options relating to the new desktop app directly on their iOS device. WhatsApp Messenger is a free download for iPhone available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Brazilian Supreme Court Upholds WhatsApp Users' Right to Encrypted Chat

WhatsApp was forced offline in Brazil yesterday after Facebook failed to provide a court with chat logs related to a criminal investigation – only for the block to be lifted hours later. The blocking order by Brazilian judge Daniela Barbosa came after Facebook argued that it could not provide the court with the requested data since all messages relayed through the service are end-to-end encrypted. Barbosa apparently took issue with the nature of the response, accusing Facebook of treating the country like a "banana republic" and criticizing WhatsApp for replying to the court via email and in English, "as if this was the official language of this country." She then ordered the company to pay $50,000 per day until it complied with the court order to release the information. However, in a matter of hours, the judge's order was struck down by the country's Supreme Court, which ruled that the lower court's order to ban WhatsApp was unreasonable and disproportionate. As TechCrunch notes, the ruling suggests Brazil's highest court favors an open internet, even if that means embracing encryption. This is the fourth time a judge has ordered that WhatsApp be taken offline in the country, only for access to be reinstated soon after. The last order occurred in May and blocked the messaging service in Brazil for 72 hours, affecting over 100 million people. "In recent months, people from all across Brazil have rejected judicial blocks of services like WhatsApp," said a WhatsApp spokesperson. "Indiscriminate steps like these threaten people's ability to communicate, to run

WhatsApp Launches Desktop App for Mac OS X

Facebook-owned WhatsApp today announced the launch of a desktop app for Mac OS X, allowing users to easily carry on their conversations from their computers natively. The move comes several months after debuting a web version of its popular chat service. Today we're introducing a desktop app so you have a new way to stay in touch anytime and anywhere - whether on your phone or computer at home or work. Like WhatsApp Web, our desktop app is simply an extension of your phone: the app mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device.The new desktop app is available for Mac OS 10.9 and above and Windows 8 and supports native desktop notifications, keyboard shortcuts and more. The app also syncs to users' mobile devices, which means that notifications and conversations are mirrored in the desktop app. To download the free app, WhatsApp users have to go to whatsapp.com/download from their desktop browser. Once the app is downloaded, users will be presented with a QR code. To scan the code, users will have to use the WhatsApp app on their phone, going into the app's settings and clicking "WhatsApp Web" to activate the QR code

Brazil Blocks WhatsApp for 72 Hours, 100 Million Users Affected [Updated]

A Brazilian judge has ordered cellphone carriers to block access to WhatsApp for 72 hours throughout the Latin American country, after the Facebook-owned company refused to hand over information requested in a drug trafficking investigation (via Reuters). As reported last month, the instant messenger service recently enabled full end-to-end encryption, making all forms of communication sent within the app inaccessible to outside parties as well as the service operator. Yesterday's decision by the judge applies to the five main wireless operators in Brazil and affects more than 100 million WhatsApp users in the country, where cellphone charges are relatively high. This is not the first time the service has been the target of a blocking order. In December of last month, mobile providers in Brazil were ordered to block WhatsApp for 48 hours due to the service's failure to cooperate with criminal court orders in July and August 2015. However, the following morning, an appeal's court judge ordered that the ban be lifted for being an unreasonable response, recommending that the company be fined instead. In March of this year, Facebook vice-president for Latin America Diego Dzodan was arrested in Brazil for not cooperating with an investigation in which WhatsApp conversations were requested, but was released the next day after the Court of Appeal held that the arrest was disproportionate. The judge who ordered WhatsApp's shutdown on Monday is the same one who ordered Dzodan's arrest. Elsewhere last month, members of UK prime minister David Cameron's inner circle

WhatsApp Messenger Implements Full End-to-End Encryption

WhatsApp has enabled full end-to-end encryption for all users of the mobile instant messenger app. The Facebook-owned service started implementing end-to-end encryption to standard chat messages in 2014, but has now completed rollout to all forms of communication within the app, such as photos, videos and calls. WhatsApp co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton officially announced the rollout on the company's blog: From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file, and voice message you send, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats. The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private — sort of like a face-to-face conversation. If you’re interested in learning more about how end-to-end encryption works, you can read about it here. But all you need to know is that end-to-end encrypted messages can only be read by the recipients you intend. And if you’re using the latest version of WhatsApp, you don’t have to do a thing to encrypt your messages: end-to-end encryption is on by default and all the time.Encryption has become a hot topic in recent weeks following Apple's high-profile dispute with the FBI, which attempted to compel the company to unlock San Bernardino shooter Farook Syed's iPhone. On March 28 the

WhatsApp Going Entirely Free After Dropping Subscription Fees

Popular real-time messaging app WhatsApp today announced that it will no longer be charging customers subscription fees after their first free year with the service. The company noted that the approach of giving users a free year with the app and then removing its features "hasn't worked well," since some customers didn't have credit or debit cards they could use to continue the service, potentially losing contact with friends and family after being blocked behind a paywall. That's why we're happy to announce that WhatsApp will no longer charge subscription fees. For many years, we've asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we've grown, we've found that this approach hasn't worked well. Many WhatsApp users don't have a debit or credit card number and they worried they'd lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we'll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service. WhatsApp confirmed that the messaging service is switching to a custom monetization model that still won't center around third-party advertisements. Starting this year, the company will begin testing tools that let users interact with businesses that they care about, which "could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight." Plans for the new non-subscription service will begin to rollout "over the next several weeks" to each platform that WhatsApp is available on. Users that

WhatsApp Web Begins Rolling Out on iPhone

WhatsApp has updated its website with instructions on how to access WhatsApp Web on iPhone, and the new settings appear to be rolling out for some users now. To access WhatsApp Web from iPhone, open the app, tap on Settings and a WhatsApp Web menu option should appear once live. WhatsApp Web settings on iPhone (Image: Reddit) WhatsApp Web connects to your iPhone to sync messages with your computer, allowing you to send and receive messages from your web browser and view conversations on both devices. The service is also available for Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and select Nokia smartphones. WhatsApp Messenger [Direct Link] is free on the App Store for

WhatsApp Messenger for iOS Gains Voice Calling Capabilities

After promising to deliver voice calling capabilities back in 2014, WhatsApp has finally delivered, introducing voice over IP features in its latest update. With the new version of the app, it's possible for WhatsApp users to call friends and family directly within the app using a Wi-Fi or cellular connection at no cost. The introduction of voice calling to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp app puts it on par with Facebook's other messaging app, Facebook Messenger, which gained voice calling back in 2013. It also allows the app to better compete with other iOS-based VoIP calling options like Skype and FaceTime Audio. Today's WhatsApp update also brings a few other features, including the iOS 8 share extension for sharing videos, photos, and links to WhatsApp from other apps, contact editing tools, and the ability to send multiple videos at one time.What's new -WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they're in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone's Internet connection rather than your cellular plan's voice minutes. Data charges may apply. Note: WhatsApp Calling is rolling out slowly over the next several weeks. -iOS 8 share extension: Share photos, videos, and links right to WhatsApp from other apps. -Quick camera button in chats: Now you can capture photos and videos, or quickly choose a recent camera roll photo or video. -Edit your contacts right from WhatsApp. -Send multiple videos at once and crop and rotate videos before sending them.WhatsApp can be downloaded from the App Store for free. The new WhatsApp