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WhatsApp will soon notify you when someone mentions you in a group

WhatsApp will soon notify you when someone mentions you in a group

Researchers have discovered flaws in the way WhatsApp, Signal, and Threema messaging apps handle secure (encrypted) group communication, which could result in unauthorized users getting added to closed groups and monitoring future conversations within them.

While the flaws could allow an attack to gain full control of group chats on the application, any would-be-attacker would still first need to take control of the WhatsApp server in order to exploit the security flaws.

The issues are encryption flaws and were detailed at the Real Word Crypto security conference in Zurich, Switzerland by researchers from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.

The report says that anyone who controls the WhatsApp server can easily insert new people into private group chats.

According to WABetaInfo, a fan site that tests new WhatsApp features early, the new option, present in the Group Info section as "Dismiss as admin", allows an administrator to dismiss another one without removing him or her from the group.

With over 1.2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is available in more than 50 different languages around the world and in 10 Indian languages. "He can cache all the message and then decide which get sent to whom and which not", Mr. Roster added.

A flaw in popular encrypted chat programs WhatsApp, Threema and Signal theoretically allows nearly anyone to control important servers, bypass encryption and add themselves to group chats.

In a statement to Wired, WhatsApp said it had looked into the problem. The researchers recommend in their paper that summarizes their findings that users who rely on absolute privacy should stick to Signal or individual private messaging. Remeber the end-to-end encryption that WhatsApp uses for sending messages between users?

'We built WhatsApp so group messages can not be sent to a hidden user. This allows the server controller to add a new group person without the group admin's knowledge.

But they told the researchers the group invitation bug they'd found was merely "theoretical" and didn't even qualify for the so-called bug bounty program run by Facebook, WhatsApp's corporate owner, in which security researchers are paid for reporting hackable flaws in the company's software.

If you use it on someone, they'll lose all of their admin privileges, and become standard group chat participants instead. Typical group chats are managed by one person who is identified as the administrator of the chat.

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