Info-tech

Telegram CEO slams WhatsApp for 'misleading' users on encryption

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 03, 2020 Published on February 03, 2020

WhatsApp, not Apple, to blame for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone hack, says Pavel Durov

Telegram CEO Pavel Durav has slammed rival messaging platform Whatsapp for allegedly misleading consumers about offering end-to-end encryption. He has also called out Whatsapp for levelling charges against Apple for Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ alleged phone hack.

Durav, in a blog post,  explained that iOS devices have loads of privacy-related issues but the recent phone hack of Bezos was not the fault of the phone maker. It was because of WhatsApp’s corrupt video vulnerability; this is present on Android and Windows phone devices, too, he added.

The Telegram CEO further claimed that the issue was not iOS-specific, but WhatsApp-specific. 

WhatsApp has been under scrutiny after Bezos’ phone was allegedly hacked, in 2018. It reportedly happened after a malicious MP4 file was sent across to Bezos on WhatsApp by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince. WhatsApp has been reiterating that it provides end-to-end encryption for all conversations.

‘Bogus narrative’

Accusing Whatsapp of treading on a bogus narrative, Durav wrote that WhatsApp uses the words ‘end-to-end encryption’ as some magic incantation that alone is supposed to make all communication secure. He claimed in his post that WhatsApp’s source code is hidden and the app’s binaries are obfuscated, making them hard to analyse.

Durov stated in his blog that his statements are purely factual and not based on his personal preferences, since Telegram has emerged as the biggest competitor to WhatsApp.

Following the hack on Bezos' phone, the UN had warned all its officials to be wary of sending important documents and texts over the messaging app. US President Donald Trump has also been advised to refrain from using WhatsApp, said an India Today report.

Vulnerabilities reported
 

Last year, WhatsApp had disclosed 12 vulnerabilities, of which seven were severe. In September, it was called out after a report emerged stating that the messaging app had been used to snoop on 1,400 journalists, human-rights activists and public figures across the globe.

 

WhatsApp later came out with an announcement that it had fixed the bug. It further encouraged users to upgrade to the latest version of the app that offered end-to-end encryption.

Published on February 03, 2020
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