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WhatsApp’s new feature has security vulnerabilities, according to expert

The application is about to implement the messages that are deleted in the best Snapchat style.

November 17, 2020 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Although the configuration does not affect the messages sent or received before activation. There are a series of warnings of this new option indicated by the same app. WhatsApp recommends using temporary messages only with people you trust.

WhatsApp is testing the option to “disappear messages” in the best Snapchat style. However, Zak Doffman, an expert in cybersecurity, explained that this feature has many vulnerabilities that we must pay attention to.

First of all, the expert comments, in an article published in Forbes, that when iPhone users switch to the new smartphone model they will be instructed to back up their files from the WhatsApp messaging application to iCloud, but these copies will not be protected by end-to-end encryption.

This means that your content can be delivered if requested. According to Doffman, this vulnerability was highlighted by the latest feature that the platform wants to implement.

Image: WhatsApp via PC Mag.

Although the new settings do not affect the messages sent or received before activation. There are a series of warnings indicated by the app itself:

Text quoted in response to a disappearing message could remain in the chat after seven days.

Messages will not disappear if they are forwarded to a conversation with the feature turned off.

The messages are included in a backup created before the seven day period, but will be deleted when a user restores from the backup.

The expert says that the real problem is hidden in the platform’s explanation of its disappearing messages: “by default, the multimedia files you receive on WhatsApp are automatically downloaded to your photos. If the temporary messages are activated, the multimedia files sent in that chat will disappear, but they will be saved on your phone if the automatic download is activated ”.

Doffman explains that there are two serious problems with it:

The photos and videos you send are more likely to engage you more than the direct text because even if your files are deleted there is the possibility that they still exist on your contacts’ phone.

You should not let the files they send you automatically save to your phone as they may not be secure.

Faced with these vulnerabilities, the expert hopes that the application is already working to correct them. Meanwhile, the WhatsApp Blog recommends using temporary messages only with trusted people , since it is possible for a person to do the following:

Resend the temporary message or take a screenshot and save it before it disappears.

Copy and save the content of a temporary message before it disappears.

Take a photo of a temporary message with a camera or other device before it disappears.