Many of us use Instant Messaging apps to keep in contact with our friends, families and some ever our coworkers, to this end many of us carry on conversations in any manner believing that there convocation is pretty much secure. Well time to think again. WhatsApp actually sends all chats in plaintext, so anyone on the same Wi-Fi network can easily pull your entire conversation – including pictures and videos – straight out of the air. If you think that’s bad, the process has now been made simple thanks to and app called WhatsAppSniffer. It’s your basic run of the mill packet sniffer, which is the network world’s equivalent of a diction dog which patrols your network sniffing out any and all activity and reporting back.
Now we all know nothing is 100 per cent hack free, but it turns out the WhatsApp team has known about this issue for nearly a year, but still hasn’t fixed it. The security breach or well lack of security was published back in May of 2011 and then again in December of that same year, so it is clear that WhatsApp is aware of the problem but has chosen to ignore it each time with their numerous updates.
The problem currently affects Android, iOS and Symbian, with the developers currently working on a version for Windows Phone. Since BlackBerry uses its own servers instead of WhatsApp’s, it’s actually secure on that end so score one for the digital Titanic.
Using a public WiFi connection always comes with a risk, and one should be extra careful what is done on these connections. Things like online banking , credit card purchase and delicate email transactions shouldn’t be done using open public WiFi connections as we never know who’s listening in on your traffic. But perhaps now we want to add WhatsApp Messaging to that list of don’ts to our list and hope that someday soon there will be fix for this.
Could you imagine what would happen if they somehow managed to get WhatsAppSniffer to work on the Mobile Data networks, or even sniff for messages going to a particular number? This wouldn’t be good at all and my intention here is not to cause to mass panic or anything but just to let you guys out there know Whats out there and try to keep you safe. So for now maybe using your 3G data instead of the free WiFi offered in some areas might be a better and safer bet for now.