Interrupted WhatsApp texts led to Belgian terror arrests

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been trying very hard to access all those messages passed through encrypted messaging companies. However, it apparently didn’t require that effort to gain access to the messages sent over WhatsApp.

As per Bloomberg report, two men were captured and permits were released for 3 others for apparently setting up for an extremist activity in Belgium. Terrorists being captured following attacks in which sixteen individuals were confined, law implementation authorities in Belgian stated was the consequence of “working with American officials to screen suspects’ correspondences on WhatsApp Inc’s,” reported by Bloomberg’s Gaspard Sebag.

The arrests are linked to the al-Nusra Front in UAE and Syria, as reported by the BBC. A man came back to Belgium being injured in a battle in Syria with al-Nusra, the guy was reported kept hostage alongside many other folks by the extremists. There were 2 groups’ assaulted one in Louvain on Belgium’s coastline, and the other one at Ostend. They are planning to conduct terrorist assault in Belgium, as stated by Louvain. BBC likewise referred to Belgian authorities as stating WhatsApp messages captured by the American government were utilized to follow the terrorist group.

The messaging service, WhatsApp started giving E2E (end-to-end) encryption of their texts previous Nov with the consolidation of security analyst from Textsecure Moxie Marlinspike. In detail, if TextSecure stayed being used by the charged terrorists, the substance of their chats would have been exceptionally hard to peruse; the protocol of TextSecure persistently changes sets of encryption keys with every new message. Yet, it’s unverifiable that the texts were protected especially as E2E encryption isn’t upheld by the WhatsApp version for iOS, and group chats and pictures aren’t bolstered by Andriod version of WhatsApp yet.

A story was posted on C’T a German magazine, where writer Fabian A. Scherschel jumped into the E2E arrangement in WhatsApp and opposed that it didn’t change the key utilized to secure information in messaging – as an alternative, it utilized a key resulting from the consumer’s encryption code and password created on the RC4 procedure for both outbound and inbound communication.

The suggestion was that diverted and collected messaged could ideally be breached much more smoothly as the key sources could be simple to discover, because it decreased many possible keys. However, Moxie Marlinspike said in a reply to the article published to Reddit, “This article should be retitled ‘Breaking News: WhatsApp E2E Deployment Process Exactly As Advertised.’  We announced a partnership, not a finished deployment. In the blog post announcing that partnership, we publicly outlined the WhatsApp E2E deployment process, and it describes exactly what has been ‘discovered’ here. As I said in the blog post, deploying across huge number of users (hundreds of millions) and many platforms (seven, of which they checked two) takes time, and is being done incrementally. I also point out that we will be surfacing information in the UI once that is complete.”

The post is up to date based on further reporting that contain Moxie’s reply to the article of C’T Magazine judgements. The story also originally described TextSecure didn’t allow group images and messages; those options are reinforced in TextSecure as an extra app, and not implemented in WhatsApp as of now.

So, even though, lack of encryption and privacy lock in Whatsapp has led to arrests of terrorists but on the other side, it’s clear sign that WhatsApp isn’t that much trustworthy as to what extent the company claims. Why not consider going with secure WhatsApp alternatives? It would be a better option for sure!

Top/Featured Image: By Oregon Department / Wikimedia

Ali Qamar Ali Qamar is a seasoned blogger and loves keeping a keen eye on the future of tech. He is a geek. He is a privacy enthusiast and advocate. He is crazy (and competent) about internet security, digital finance, and technology. Ali is the founder of PrivacySavvy and an aspiring entrepreneur.
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