Data on WhatsApp and Telegram is vulnerable say experts


California based Cybersecurity software firm Symantec has disclosed that the data stored by users on WhatsApp and Telegram was vulnerable to hackers. So, the Software giant is urging people not to use the platforms for storing personal photos, Classical and corporate documents as they could be exploited or manipulated by malicious actors.

Media File Jacking is the security flaw which makes the said Instant Messaging platforms vulnerable to hackers says a report released by Symantec yesterday.

Technically speaking, ‘Media File Jacking’ is a kind of exploitation of hackers in a time lapse between the media files being received through the apps- written to the disks and then loaded onto the chat pages of the user. 

However, a source from WhatsApp argues that such kind of risks was observed a few years ago when the technology of end to end encryption was at the nascent stage. But now, the technique can be thwarted by the new generation apps making them immune to privacy risks.

On a collective note, WhatsApp and Telegram are said to be having an active database of over 1.5 billion people and Symantec argues that all the users are pretty much exposed to the Media File Jacking Vulnerability.

Symantec says that its malware detection machines being used on the Endpoint Protection Mobile Theme and Norton Mobile Security engines are the only ones which could detect such vulnerabilities as of now.

Reacting to the news, WhatsApp has released a statement early today which says that users of its platform can mitigate the risk by simply deactivating the feature that saves files to external media.

Telegram is yet to respond to the vulnerability and might do it in an official way in a couple of days. But till then disabling “Save to gallery” in the Chat settings feature under Settings tab will surely help.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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