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Security experts raise flags over WhatsApp

Published on Feb 22, 2014 10:36 AM
 
The Facebook deal for WhatsApp drew attention for its whopping price tag, but has also brought out fresh criticism over security for the billions of messages delivered on the platform. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Facebook deal for WhatsApp drew attention for its whopping price tag, but has also brought out fresh criticism over security for the billions of messages delivered on the platform.

WhatsApp, which is to be acquired for US$19 billion (S$23.8 billion), says on its website that "communication between your phone and our server is fully encrypted." The company warns users need to be aware that when they send messages, the recipient's device may not be secure. But it says it does not store any chat history and that messages are wiped off its system after delivery.

Yet security researchers and others point out that there may be vulnerabilities in the system used by some 450 million people globally.

Mr Paul Jauregui at the security firm Praetorian said in a blog post on Thursday that WhatsApp security and encryption are not ideal, citing vulnerabilities in the way it handles SSL, the secure socket layer protocol for communications.

 
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