Whatsapp is not the most secure instant messaging app out there, we know this because a new hack, called WhatsSpy Public is making sure of that.

WhatsSpy Public is a simple piece of software that can allow anyone – if interested – see the online/offline status of any Whatsapp user alongside their status messages and profile pictures even with austere privacy settings.

The software can bypass privacy settings and show whether users are online or off even when they don’t want the information “public”.

The web-based software was designed by Dutch student/developer, Maikeal Zweerink. According to him, the hack is proof that there are some inherent vulnerability in Whatsapp.

“The privacy options in WhatsApp act like they give you full control over your status in WhatsApp meanwhile they only affect a very limited scope”, Maikel explains, “By setting the “last seen” privacy option to “nobody” you think no one can view if you’re online but this is not the case. What is even worse, that these events can be followed by anyone. The ability for a complete stranger to follow your in-app status is pretty creepy and might be abused already. This is not a “hack” or “exploit” but it’s broken by design.”

WhatsSpy is fully functional and with a secondary Whatsapp account, rooted Android phone, jailbroken iPhone and/or a knowledge of PHP, anyone can set up a web server using the software to track other Whatsapp users.

Whatsapp scores high (5/7) in the Electronic Frontier Foundation IMs safety of use and this may read like a little snag with privacy in the Facebook owned multiplatform instant messaging app that can be easily tuned out, but thinking of what has already been done with WhatsSpy so far and the possibility accrued to this could generate real concern.

Photo Credit: DownloadsourceES via Compfight cc

Read this next
More From TC

LifeBank isn’t a cool startup and unlike other startups, it doesn’t care about announcing funding rounds. But yet this Nigerian health-tech startup has had tremendous impact on society. It’s present in 8 Nigerian states and Kenya, and has saved over 10,000 lives.   In the third episode of Building From Ground Up, an event in partnership […]

EndSARA, October 20

In a video that surfaces after the incident, military officers arrive at the Lekki Toll Gate on the Lagos island, stand for a moment in front of a group of protesters separated by a line of road barricades sitting and singing the national anthem in the darkness that envelopes an ordinarily lit location, and begin […]

My Life In Tech is putting human faces to some of the innovative startups, investments, and policy formations driving the technology sector across Africa. This week, Hannah Subayi, private equity, and angel investor shares her experiences with angel investing across Francophone and Anglophone Africa.  This edition has nuggets for new entrepreneurs as well as investors […]

TechCabal is a Big Cabal Media brand

Copyright © 2013 - 2020
All rights reserved

Privacy & Terms