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‘WhatsApp will never be secure’, Telegram founder slams Facebook-owned app over security lapse

Telegram founder Pavel Durov also accused Facebook of copying Telegram features to the “tiniest details.”

tech Updated: May 16, 2019 12:12 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Telegram,Telegram Messenger,WhatsApp
Telegram Messenger founder Pavel Durov crticises WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook(REUTERS)

WhatsApp is drawing flak over the recent security breach that allowed hackers to inject spyware through just missed in-app voice calls. Telegram founder Pavel Durov is the latest to join the criticism of the Facebook-owned application over the recent security lapse.

In a blog post titled “Why WhatsApp Will Never Be Secure”, Durov pointed out that WhatsApp is not open source like Telegram. He said that the lack of open source codes makes it difficult for security researchers to check if an application has any backdoors. He also criticised WhatsApp for “deliberately obfuscates their apps’ binaries” and blocking anyone from scrutinising them.

“WhatsApp has a consistent history – from zero encryption at its inception to a succession of security issues strangely suitable for surveillance purposes. Looking back, there hasn’t been a single day in WhatsApp’s 10 year journey when this service was secure,” he wrote.

“That’s why I don’t think that just updating WhatsApp’s mobile app will make it secure for anyone. For WhatsApp to become a privacy-oriented service, it has to risk losing entire markets and clashing with authorities in their home country. They don’t seem to be ready for that.”

Durov also slammed WhatsApp founders, who are no longer associated with the company, for not speaking on issues related to privacy. He also accused WhatsApp of copying Telegram’s features to the “tiniest details.”

Durov’s strong criticism comes a day after WhatsApp admitted hackers managed to inject spyware on some devices through missed called. Experts believe WhatsApp spyware attack has huge privacy implications.

“Unbeknownst to the victims, the attackers obtained complete access to everything on the their mobile devices: personal and corporate information, email, contacts, camera, microphone, and the individual’s location,” Brian Gleeson, Mobile Product Marketing Manager at Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. wrote in a blog post earlier this week.

First Published: May 16, 2019 12:12 IST