Telegram Creator acuses Whatsapp of having backdoors for syping

Whatsapp has been having a difficult week. On monday, Spanish site adslzone leaked that Whatsapp is able to share the links passed via the app with third parties despite the end to end cyphering (which makes us wonder what's the point of end to end cyphering). The next day we also learned about a vulnerability that allowed a Hacker to add spyware that would steal images and messages in the user phone by a simple phonecall. Now Pavel Durov, CEO and Telegram founder has talked about how Whatsapp treats privacy.

According to Durov, Whatsapp has never been secure and it has been done like this on purpose. Whenever they fix some new vulnerability, a new one shows up.  Just now in a similar way and via buffer overflow, it's possible to access all data files in the phone with a simple audio call. And the worse case is that there is no need to answer it.

Despite the fact that they may seem like simple vulnerabilities associated to minor programming mistakes, Durov suggests that these are backdoors that have been camouflaged as vulnerabilities. The main problem roots in the fact that Whatsapp - unlike Telegram - is not open sourced (and they do everything they can to hide it) so nobody can actually look for vulnerabilities.

To support his claim, Durov reveals that telegram is banned in russia and iran because both governments asked for the cyphering keys, and after rejecting the app was banned in the country.

Whatsapp, on the contrary - and despite the fact that it is an American company - does operate in both countries without any issues.


Backdoors are something that spying agencies create with anti terrorism purposes or geopolitical interests - such as spying to key people that could become a threat to the country. It's licit for them to do this, but by doing this they open the door to other hackers discovering these vulnerabilities.


Durov even affirms that Whatsapp has never been safe. In 2012, when he started working in Telegram, Whatsapp sent all messages in plain text, allowing for government, hackers, operators or WiFi network admins could read the messages.


Despite the cyphering added after Telegram was launched, Durov affirms that this was all a marketing idea, because the key in decyphering the messages is in the hands of foreign governments such as Russia.


This is funny, because despite the cyphering, Whatsapp started to insist to the users to create copies of their Whatsapp messages and store them in Google Drive with one of their updated functionalities. Being these not cyphered and in plain text (without Whatsapp saying anything about this).


With this, the FBI could - for example and via a warrant- order google to hand in any possible information from any individual that they deemed necessary. And even if you decide not to store these conversations, they could still find out by asking other people who had conversations with you.


What Durov is suggesting is that Whatsapp has not been safe at all intendedly. And this has been such that Whatsapp founders long time back left the company because - according to their words - "The app was selling their user's privacy".


Of course, Durov is suggesting the people to switch to Telegram (his own app) from Whatsapp. What is really intriguing is the fact that  despite these claims - and even if they were real - and despite the "efforts" that Whatsapp has made to make itself more secure and less vulnerable, user privacy does not seem to be a demanding issue that users care for. Despite the fact that a user can know that Whatsapp is insecure, they will still sacrifice their own privacy in exchange for a convenient and free way of contacting their friends. 


4 years ago, Edward Snowden allready showed up in Last Week Tonight regarding all of the government surveillance scandal that envolved Google and the NSA.  When Snowden (back then exiled in Russia) revealed that the NSA was passing on nacked pictures of people, he suggested this was not a big deal for the users.


If you had to ask us, we'd suggest to never share private sensitive information via Whatsapp.

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