Top 9 Ways Your WhatsApp Messages Can Be Hacked
Popular messaging platform WhatsApp has become a talking point for quite some time now. It comes with several security features, like the use of end-to-end encryption to keep messages private. Despite having such features, hackers try various ways and means to compromise the privacy of your messages and contacts.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a messaging app with over 1 billion users worldwide. It is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world and is available on many devices, including phones, tablets, and computers.
WhatsApp allows you to send and receive messages with others who have the app installed on their phone. You can also use WhatsApp to communicate with people who don’t have the app installed on their phones.
WhatsApp messages are encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption. This prevents hackers from reading your messages. However, WhatsApp does not encrypt all of your data. Your contacts, media files, and Secret Conversations are all unprotected by encryption.
There are several ways that your WhatsApp can be hacked. One way is through an attack on your phone itself. Another way is through an attack on the server that stores your data. Finally, WhatsApp messages can be intercepted in transit between you and the person you are messaging.
How to hack WhatsApp
There are several ways that your WhatsApp account can be hacked. One way is through a phishing attack. This is when someone sends you a link that looks like it comes from a friend or family member. But instead of taking you to the regular WhatsApp website, the link takes you to a fake website that looks exactly like the actual WhatsApp website. This fake website is designed to steal your login information, contact list, and other personal information.
WhatsApp also allows you to access your account without having a password. You can do this by going to Settings > Account > Password & Security > Login Without Password. When you disable password protection, anyone who knows your phone number can access your account.
There are also ways that your WhatsApp messages can be hacked. One way is through a message interception attack. This is when someone intercepts your message before it reaches its intended recipient. They can then read the message or send an unwanted message in place of your original message. Another way
What are the Different Types of Hacks?
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world. However, WhatsApp can also be vulnerable to hackers. There are various types of hacks that can be used to access people’s messages and data.
The most common type of hack is the phishing attack. This is when hackers try to trick people into giving away their personal information by sending them a fake message from WhatsApp or a company they trust.
Another common type of hack is the malware attack. This is when hackers install malicious software on someone’s device to steal their data or access their accounts.
Finally, some hacks exploit vulnerabilities in WhatsApp’s software. These vulnerabilities can be found through online searches or hacking into the platform.
WhatsApp is a popular messaging platform, but it is still susceptible to various hacks. Keep your account secure by using strong passwords and never sharing your login information with anyone.
Whatsapp security tips
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging applications on the planet, but like any other app, it is possible for WhatsApp to be hacked. Here are some tips to help keep your WhatsApp secure.
1. Use a strong password: One of the top ways to protect yourself from hackers is to use a strong password. Ensure your password must be at least 8 characters long and includes a different type number and one letter.
2. Don’t share your password: Another way to protect yourself from hackers is never to share your password with anyone. If someone asks you for your password, don’t give it to them. Instead, try to remember the password yourself or write it down and store it somewhere safe.
3. Always verify the sender: When you receive a message from someone, always verify that the sender is who they say they are by clicking on the link in the message. This will take you to their profile page, where you can see additional information about them, such as their Facebook profile or Google+ account.
4. Keep an eye on your security settings: Finally, make sure that you check your security settings regularly and update them as needed. This will help ensure that your WhatsApp account is protected from hacking attacks.
How to protect yourself from Whatsapp hacks
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps on the market and is used by millions of people daily. However, because WhatsApp is a messaging app, it is also one of the most common targets for hackers.
There are several ways that your WhatsApp can be hacked. One of the simplest ways is to hack into your phone number. This means that someone can access your account without having your phone. They can also hack your account if they have your password or PIN.
To protect yourself from WhatsApp hacks, keep your passwords safe and never share them with anyone. Also, install the latest security updates for WhatsApp on your phone. These updates will help to protect against standard hacking techniques.
9 Ways Your WhatsApp Messages Can Be Hacked
1. Remote Code Execution via GIF
In October 2019, security researcher Awakened revealed a vulnerability in WhatsApp that let hackers take control of the app using a GIF image. The hack works by taking advantage of the way WhatsApp processes images when the user opens the Gallery view to send a media file.
When this happens, the app parses the GIF to show a preview of the file. GIF files are special because they have multiple encoded frames. This means that code can be hidden within the image.
If a hacker were to send a malicious GIF to a user, they could compromise the user’s entire chat history. The hackers would be able to see who the user had been messaging and what they had been saying. They could also see users’ files, photos, and videos sent through WhatsApp.
The vulnerability affected versions of WhatsApp up to 2.19.230 on Android 8.1 and 9. Fortunately, Awakened disclosed the vulnerability responsibly and Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, patched the issue. To keep yourself safe from this problem and similar, you should always keep WhatsApp updated.
2. The Pegasus Voice Call Attack
Another WhatsApp vulnerability discovered in early 2019 was the Pegasus voice call hack.
This scary attack allowed hackers to access a device simply by placing a WhatsApp voice call to their target. Even if the target didn’t answer the call, the attack could still be effective. And the target may not even be aware that malware has been installed on their device.
This worked through a method known as buffer overflow. This is where an attack deliberately puts in so much code into a small buffer that it “overflows” and writes code into a location it shouldn’t be able to access. When the hacker can run code in a location that should be secure, they can take malicious steps.
This attack installed an older and well-known piece of spyware called Pegasus. This allowed hackers to collect data on phone calls, messages, photos, and video. It even let them activate devices’ cameras and microphones to take recordings.
This vulnerability is applicable on Android, iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, and Tizen devices. It was used by the Israeli firm, NSO Group, for example, which has been accused of spying on Amnesty International staff and other human rights activists. After news of the hack broke, WhatsApp was updated to protect it from this attack.
If you are running WhatsApp version 2.19.134 or earlier on Android or version 2.19.51 or earlier on iOS, then you need to update your app immediately.
3. Socially Engineered Attacks
Another way you’re vulnerable to getting your WhatsApp hacked is through socially engineered attacks, which exploit human psychology to steal information or spread misinformation.
Security firm, Check Point Research, revealed one example of this attack, which they named FakesApp. This allowed people to misuse the quote feature in group chat and to alter the text of another person’s reply. Essentially, hackers could plant fake statements that appear to be from other legitimate users.
The researchers could do this by decrypting WhatsApp communications. This allowed them to see data sent between the mobile and the web versions of WhatsApp.
And from here, they could change values in group chats. Then they could impersonate other people, sending messages which appeared to be from them. They could also change the text of replies.
This could be used in worrying ways to spread scams or fake news. Even though the vulnerability was disclosed in 2018, it had still not been patched by the time the researchers spoke at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas in 2019, according to ZNet. It therefore becomes critical that you learn how to recognize WhatsApp scams and keep reminding yourself of these red flags periodically.
4. Media File Jacking
Media File Jacking affects both WhatsApp and Telegram. This attack takes advantage of the way apps receive media files like photos or videos and write those files to a device’s external storage.
The attack starts by installing malware hidden inside an apparently harmless app. This can then monitor incoming files for Telegram or WhatsApp. When a new file comes in, the malware may swap out the real file for a fake one.
Symantec, the company that discovered the issue, suggested it could be used to scam people or to spread fake news.
There is a quick fix for this issue, though. Using WhatsApp, you should look in Settings and go to Chat Settings. Then find the Save to Gallery option and make sure it is set to Off. This will protect you from this vulnerability. However, a true fix for the issue will require app developers to entirely change the way that apps handle media files in the future.
5. Facebook Could Spy on WhatsApp Chats
The fact that WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption does not mean all messages are private. On an operating system like iOS 8 and above, apps can access files in a “shared container.”
Both the Facebook and WhatsApp apps use the same shared container on devices. And while chats are encrypted when they are sent, they are not necessarily encrypted on the originating device. This means the Facebook app could potentially copy information from WhatsApp.
There is no evidence that Facebook has used shared containers to view private WhatsApp messages. But the potential is there. Even with end-to-end encryption, your messages may not be private from the all-capturing net of Facebook.
6. Paid Third-Party Apps
You’d be surprised how many paid legal apps have sprung up in the market, which solely exist for hacking into secure systems. It’s super easy to carry out covert WhatsApp hacks through this method.
In fact, it isn’t unheard of for big corporations to work hand-in-hand with oppressive regimes to target activists and journalists; or by cybercriminals, intent on getting your personal information.
Apps like Spyzie and mSPY can easily hack into your WhatsApp account for stealing your private data. All you need to do is purchase the app, install it, and activate it on the target phone. You can then simply sit back and connect to your app dashboard from the web browser, and snoop in on private WhatsApp data like messages, contacts, status, etc. But obviously, we advise against anyone actually doing this!
7. Fake WhatsApp Clones
Using fake website clones to install malware is an old hacking strategy still implemented by cyber criminals all over the world. These clone sites are known as malicious websites.
The hacking tactic has now also been adopted for breaking into Android systems. To carry out a WhatsApp hack on your account, an attacker will first try to install a clone of WhatsApp, which might look strikingly similar to the original app.
Take the case of the WhatsApp Pink scam, for instance. A clone of the original WhatsApp, it claims to change the standard green WhatsApp background to pink.
Here’s how it works: an unsuspecting user receives a link to download the WhatsApp Pink app for changing the background color of their app. And even though it really does change the background color of your app to pink, as soon as you install the app, it will start collecting data not just from your WhatsApp but also from everything else stored on your phone.
8. WhatsApp Web
WhatsApp Web is a neat tool for someone who spends most of their day on a PC. It provides the ease of accessibility to WhatsApp users, so they won’t have to pick up their phone again and again for messaging. The big screen and keyboard provides an overall better user experience too.
Here’s the caveat though. As handy as the web version is, it can be easily used to hack into your WhatsApp chats. This danger arises when you’re using the WhatsApp Web on someone else’s computer.
So if the owner of the computer has selected the “keep me signed in” box during login, then your WhatsApp account will stay signed-in even after you’ve closed the browser.
The computer owner can then access your information without much difficulty.
You can avoid this by making sure that you log out from WhatsApp Web before you leave.
But as they say, prevention is better than cure. The best approach is to avoid using anything other than your personal computer for the web version of WhatsApp altogether.
9. Exporting Your Chats
This isn’t the traditional method you’d find on the “how to hack someone’s WhatsApp” guides. While some of the other methods are really elaborate, and some just capitalize on blank spots in the human psyche, this one simply requires physical access to your smartphone.
And no, the hacker doesn’t need a lot of time with your phone, either; just a few seconds is enough. This gives them enough time to export your messages to a location they can later access. It could be anything: an email account, cloud storage, or even a messaging app.
Once a hacker has access to your phone, all they have to do is move to a specific chat, click on the Export chat option and select the location they’d like to move your message history to.
The solution? The ironclad way to protect yourself is to keep your phone away from unfamiliar hands at all times. Furthermore, you have the option to enable fingerprint lock for your WhatsApp. Here’s how:
1. Head to Accounts > Privacy > Fingerprint lock.
2. Toggle the Unlock with fingerprint option on, and set the lock activation to Immediately.
Now, every time your WhatsApp is picked up after inactivity, your fingerprints will be required to launch the app.
What to do if your WhatsApp is hacked
If you’re worried that your WhatsApp account has been hacked, you can do a few things to protect yourself.
First, be sure to change your password and keep it a secret.
Second, keep your phone locked and don’t use the same password on other sites.
Third, ensure you know your WhatsApp security features (including two-factor authentication).
Fourth, contact WhatsApp if you notice suspicious activities on your account (such as strange messages or messages you didn’t send).
Finally, never give your personal information (like your address or phone number) to anyone who contacts you through WhatsApp.