If you are a regular user of WhatsApp, you should stay vigilant as it has now been determined that it is very easy to hijack any account.
Towards the end of last year, WhatsApp announced that it had gone into partnership with Open Whisper Systems and introduced an end to end encryption to its messaging system. This move was aimed at beefing up the security of this instant messaging app, with the view that the rising internet security issues will not scare more users from joining the app or worse still, drive others out.
Well, it seems the security layers at WhatsApp are not as secure as we’d like to think. It is now official that someone can easily hijack your WhatsApp account as long as they have the slightest access to the device. What this means is that the more than 800 million people from across the globe who currently use this app are at huge risk of losing their personal data.
How it works
In actual sense, the process is very simple. All the hacker needs is a few seconds with your phone. To make it happen, this person will use your phone number to register a new WhatsApp account. As you know, WhatsApp usually sends a confirmation message in the form of a text with a code to the number in question. If this person has access to your phone and gets this code, you will be locked out of your WhatsApp account since it will be active on another device, which is not yours.
While you might think keeping your phone locked with a password will keep you away from such people, who may happen to be your closest friends. The hacker might go on and request for a voice call verification. This call can be received even if your phone is locked and as such, the hijacker will still get the verification code needed to access your WhatsApp account.
Since this process requires one to be in possession of your phone in order to hack your account, you don’t have to worry about some Russian hacker gaining unauthorized access to your WhatsApp account. As noted earlier, it is only persons who are close to you that can do this.
While it is not known when WhatsApp will take a step towards rectifying this authentication issue in its protocol, it is still expected that the company will take care of this and prevent any damage. Meanwhile, make sure you are always accountable for your phone as well as be very careful with who you share your phone with.