Disappointed but are we surprised, though? WhatsApp’s main mantra is to keep all its users information secure and conversations over its platform protected with double encryption. However, the promise has now come into question more than once. Report has cropped that user data on its platform can be easily accessed with Google.
Last year, an issue like this had occurred and while it seems like WhatsApp didn’t take lessons from it, similar issue has cropped up yet again. Basically, now your phone numbers and your chats can be read simply by Googling it.
While you take that in for a moment…let us tell you on what transpired last year.
In June last year, it was revealed anyone could just Google phone numbers via WhatsApp wa.me domain, this time around it can be done via the web.whatsapp.com domain instead. This was discovered by security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia who then shared it on Twitter.
According to this good samaritan, WhatsApp has a text file that should be stopping Google from indexing the websites, the file named “Robots.txt.” is not working the way it should be and is allowing these data to be accessible.
“Since March 2020, WhatsApp has included the “noindex” tag on all deep link pages which, according to Google, will exclude them from indexing. We have given our feedback to Google to not index these chats. As a reminder, whenever someone joins a group, everyone in that group receives a notice and the admin can revoke or change the group invite link at any time.
Like all content that is shared in searchable, public channels, invite links that are posted publicly on the internet can be found by other WhatsApp users. Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website.” – WhatsApp Spokesperson
A source also reported that WhatsApp has another website which apparently generates verification codes which allows you to generate your own verification code. Imagine how bad it can go as it can be paired with searchable phone numbers? Surely it can’t do much but scamming will be slightly more convenient with this latest hole.
WhatsApp owned by Facebook has been laden with issues ever since the company announced changes to its user terms, once proudly declared as the most secure end to end encrypted messaging service, is now having millions of users leaving the app. This has given surge in terms of downloads for rival appps, Signal.