Many of us may have had the experience of telling someone something and spreading it through your name with a spicy spice. And when those things from different people come back to your ears, you might not even recognize that these were really your words.
And if you thought this would be difficult to do with text messaging in this age of technology, there is no need to be so confident as researchers have discovered a security flaw within the popular mobile chat app ‘WhatsApp’. Which allows one word of your message to be transmitted to your name.
A team from a cybersecurity firm called ‘Check Point’ recently demonstrated how their quoted toolkit completely changed the message quoted within the toolkit. Maybe someone said what they didn’t really say.
Researcher Ovid Wynnow told the BBC that with this tool, ‘malicious people’ could fully influence conversations on the platform.
Facebook, on the other hand, declined to comment to the BBC on the matter.
Black Hat, a cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas, demonstrated the software that this company can use to address these flaws.
This tool was based on a research article published last year by the Check Point team.
Researchers say the error can be used to create and report false news.
When you replay someone’s message with a quote, with this tool you can change the letter of the message to make it look like someone else’s message was actually something else.
In addition to this tool, the identity of the sender can be changed so that a message can be attributed to another person.
Researchers identified a third error that could have led a person to deceive that they were a private message to someone while in fact their message was being sent to a group.
This third error has been dealt with by Facebook. Remember that WhatsApp is also owned by Facebook.
But according to Winno, Facebook says that due to ‘technical limitations’ other flaws cannot be fixed.
Facebook told researchers that because of the technology WhatsApp users to keep messages confidential, it is almost impossible for a company to monitor a message and prevent a change in someone’s message.
Researchers were told that solutions to the flaws highlighted could make the use of this app difficult.
When the BBC asked the researchers why they released a tool that could ease the misuse of the error, they defended themselves and said they hoped to do so.
Winnow said: ‘WhatsApp accounts for 30% of the world’s population of about one and a half billion people, so this is our responsibility. Forwarding lies and changing messages is a big problem. ‘
He said, “We cannot ignore this problem and say that it is not happening.”
The spread of false news via the WhatsApp is a very worrisome situation around the world, especially in countries like India and Brazil, where false information has led not only to violence, put to death.
After severe criticism, WhatsApp made some changes to its platform to prevent the spread of misinformation, limiting the number of times a message could be forwarded.