The world woke up to new privacy breach revelation, that came to light when Athul Jayaram, a cybersecurity expert, and researcher revealed the flaw. Apparently, Whatsapp Numbers of users were available just a click away on Google search. Even though Whatsapp claims to have fixed the flaw, it makes us question the authenticity of the digital world wherein the personal details of the people are so easily available.
How did the Whatsapp Numbers get public?
The breach of security is caused by a feature ‘Click to Chat’, which enables users to text a Whatsapp Number without the number being saved in your contact list. The feature mostly used by businesses to connect with their customers, which generates the links in a format of http://wa.me/<number>, in which the term <number> is the phone number along with the dialing code.
So, What was the problem with the Numbers being public?
The Whatsapp links of the users who used the feature of ‘Click to Chat’ came up in the Google search results, which lets anyone from the search page send messages to the users, making it a risky business. All the numbers of the potential users at risk came up after one puts the search query of ‘site:wa.me’.
To fuel his investigation, Jayaram approached all the users he found during the search of such Whatsapp Numbers. To which he evidently concluded that such users were unaware that they had been exposed to such breach of security and were at such an easy risk.
He also concluded that the flaw was not a new one and had been there for quite some time now. It is not new that the social app has plunged into a controversy. Earlier also Whatsapp was at a radar for enabling search engines nest links of Whatsapp groups.
Even though the company fixed it earlier in the year, the company took a public exposure by a security researcher to fix the Whatsapp Number exposure flaw, which certainly was too risky for its users, bringing us to a question, that are there any more such hidden flaws and how safe is the app?
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