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Telegram CEO lists down the hazards of using WhatsApp

Telegram's CEO Pavel Durav in an official blog has called out WhatsApp for misleading its customers in the name of end-to-end encryption

twitter-logo Ankita Chakravarti   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 3, 2020  | 12:21 IST

Highlights

  • Pavel Durov lashed out at Facebook-backed messaging app for putting the blame on Apple for Jeff Bezosís phone hack.
  • Pavel also called WhatsAppís end-to-end encryption a sham.
  • Post the Jeff Bezos fiasco, the United Nations had asked all its officials to remove WhatsApp from their devices

WhatsApp has been under the scanner after Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos iPhone was hacked through the messaging app. It was being reported that It happened after a malicious MP4 file was sent to Jeff on WhatsApp by Crown Saudi Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman. Ever since the company has been trying to clear their name by reiterating that its platform protects all conversations with end-to-end encryption.

However, Telegram's CEO Pavel Durav in an official blog has called out WhatsApp for misleading its customers in the name of end-to-end encryption. He lashed out at Facebook-backed messaging app for putting the blame on Apple for Jeff Bezos's phone hack. He wrote, iOS devices have loads of privacy-related issues. But this was not one of them. WhatsApp's corrupt video vulnerability was present not only on iOS but also on Android and even Windows Phone devices. Meaning, on all mobile devices with WhatsApp installed. Hence, the issue was not iOS-specific, but WhatsApp specific.

Pavel also called WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption a sham. He wrote, WhatsApp uses the words end-to-end encryption as some magic incantation that alone is supposed to automatically make all communications secure. There are flaws in encryption implementation. How can anybody be sure that the encryption WhatsApp claims to use is the one actually implemented in their apps? Their source code is hidden and the apps' binaries are obfuscated, making them hard to analyze.

It is no secret that WhatsApp is Telegram's biggest competitor hence the criticism is bound to happen but Durov stated in his blog that his statements are based on facts and not personal preferences.

Post the Jeff Bezos fiasco, the United Nations had asked all its officials to remove WhatsApp from their devices and people working with Donald Trump have also been asked to stop using WhatsApp and switch their phones.
Earlier, WhatsApp had discloses 12 vulnerabilities in 2019 out of which, 7 were said to be critical. One of the bugs that were recently discovered in the messaging app, allowed the hackers to execute malicious codes on smartphones while another flaw allowed attackers to crash WhatsApp by sending a malicious code that would result in WhatsApp becoming unusable for the affected person.

In 2019, WhatsApp was in the eye of the storm once again after a report stated that messaging app has been used to spy on public figures and journalists across the globe. Around 1400 people were targeted using the spyware, out of which 121 users were Indian journalists, human rights activists and political figures. WhatsApp, however, stated that they had fixed the bug and encouraged users to upgrade to the latest version of the app as that promises end-to-end encryption.

WhatsApp is the widely-used messaging app with over 450 million users in India.

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