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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Who laughs at the mistakes of others and his luck, is marked

Por sumily

By the end of 2017, a flaw in WhatsApp that allowed spying on users came to light. It was a weakness that was discovered by a computer engineer and was related to the "connection time" in the status of contacts.According to the developers of WhatsApp, that flaw has already been resolved. But doubts about the security surrounding the use of the platform continue.

The messaging platform belongs to Facebook. And since last year it is officially known that it shares with the social network the telephone numbers of its users, among other information, such as the connection time.And while Acton asks us to delete Facebook, many are now asking if the time has come to delete the application.One of them is the technologist of Indian origin Vivek Wadhwa, associate researcher of the School of Law of the University of Harvard, in the United States.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has put Facebook in the spotlight of its most critical users, during the last weeks.One of those who joined the campaign to encourage Internet users to eliminate Mark Zuckerberg's platform is Brian Acton, one of the founders of WhatsApp.To say in an Acton publication from your Twitter account, it's time for #deleteFacebook.

However, the old proverbs do not exist in vain, their time comes to them all. Now it is your service that has raised alarms about privacy and data exposure.A study by researchers Kiran Garimella, of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland) and Gareth Tyson, of the Queen Mary University of London (United Kingdom), demonstrates this.In six months, the specialists managed to extract without difficulty information of 45,794 people.

For this, they read about half a million messages that were sent to 178 public groups.By concept, any group that a user believes in WhatsApp is private. However, your administrator can make it public by using an option called "Group invitation link". As of that moment, the group members receive an automatic notification.On their website, WhatsApp makes a recommendation on the use of that option, which is nothing more than a function for people of confidence. It is possible for someone to forward the link to someone else. If this happens, that person can also join the group. In that case, the group administrator will not need to approve it.

Therefore, the WhatsApp groups are conceived as spaces for conversation that can be accessed easily through a link. Many of these links are available on various websites and on Facebook pages. They can also be facilitated by one of the group administrators.These groups provide all types of topics, from sports to politics, work, pornography or personal matters and the participation of up to 256 people is allowed at the same time.The scientists who carried out the research had access to telephone numbers, profile photos, videos, documents, links to websites and comments, as well as the location of the users. And in no case did they compromise the standards of the platform.And is that the popular application, which has more than one billion active users every day, collects all the information provided by its users in the local database of the device they use.

The problem is that it hosts the key to decrypt the data in that same place, the RAM.The researchers accessed these groups using an "old" Samsung phone and executed a series of codes supposedly easy to implement, taking advantage of a "design error".According to specialists, the process requires "little human intervention".