‘Surveillance tool’: Telegram founder's explosive claim on WhatsApp goes viral

Published on Oct 08, 2022 01:20 PM IST

Telegram founder Pavel Durov claimed that hackers could have full access to everything on the phones of WhatsApp users. The messaging app's founder said a hacker could control anyone's phone by sending him/her a malicious video or start a call through WhatsApp.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov said users are not safe even if they thought so after updating WhatsApp to the latest version.(Reuters)
Telegram founder Pavel Durov said users are not safe even if they thought so after updating WhatsApp to the latest version.(Reuters)

Telegram founder and chief executive officer Pavel Durov has made a an explosive claim on instant messaging platform WhatsApp, calling it a surveillance tool for the past 13 years.

In a Telegram post which has gone viral, Durov claimed that hackers could have full access to everything on the phones of WhatsApp users.

The messaging app's founder said a hacker could control anyone's phone by sending him/her a malicious video or start a call through WhatsApp. In fact, the Narendra Modi government's nodal agency Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) had warned the WhatsApp users about hackers exploiting vulnerabilities in WhatsApp through a video call. WhatsApp had also issued a security advisory in September regarding an integer overflow in WhatsApp for Android prior to v2.22.16.12.

Durov, who according to Forbes, is worth $15 billion, said users are not safe even if they thought so after updating WhatsApp to the latest version.

“A WhatsApp security issue exactly like this one was discovered in 2018, then another in 2019 and yet another one in 2020 (tap each year's link to see the corresponding vulnerability). And yes, in 2017 before that. Prior to 2016, WhatsApp didn't have encryption at all”, he said, also claiming that the security flaw are hardly incidental and they are actually planted ‘backdoors’.

Claiming he deleted WhatsApp from his devices years ago, Durov warned users that all data from every app on anyone's device is accessible if WhatsApp is installed in the phone. Durov said Telegram with 700 million active users didn't need additional promotion.

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