How a WhatsApp call can be used for surveillance?

WhatsApp is one of the most used messaging apps globally. Over 2 billion individuals use the instant messaging application. It was first launched in 2009. You can use WhatsApp to message, call, or video chat with pretty much anyone on the earth for free as long as you have Internet access.

How Secure is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp protects all communication on its platform with end-to-end encryption. Not only are these encryption keys impossible to decrypt, but they also block third parties, like WhatsApp, from accessing messages or calls. That means only you and the person or group with whom you're speaking may read or view the messages, photographs, or files you send or hear the calls you make.

Remember that even if your files and chats are encrypted, WhatsApp still requires your contact information when you create an account. Despite the encryption, your personal information is still at risk, a lower risk than most, to be sure, but at risk. WhatsApp also keeps track of how much time you spend on it. So, even though data are encrypted, WhatsApp still collects information about how you use it.

On Android and iOS, WhatsApp allows you to back up your messages and media. This is a necessary function because it helps you to retrieve WhatsApp messages that have been mistakenly deleted. In addition to a cloud-based backup, your device has a local backup. The decrypted messages from your smartphone are stored in these backups.

The iCloud or Google Drive backup file is not secured. This file is theoretically insecure because it contains decrypted versions of all your communications, undermining WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption. Because you don't choose a backup location, you're reliant on cloud services to keep your data safe.

Security Flaws using WhatsApp Call

Recently, an attacker could read messages on the target's device because of a security flaw by using WhatsApp's voice calling feature to call someone and install spying malware even if the call was not answered. The call would frequently vanish from the device's call history. WhatsApp's security team detected it early on.

The attackers appear to have used this strategy to listen in on users' conversations and calls and exploit previously undiscovered weaknesses in the operating system, allowing them to install apps on the device. And that's precisely what they did: they installed a spyware program.

The vulnerability was patched immediately, according to Facebook, which is their parent company. Although the security team has ensured they have made it safe by some backend modifications, how many people have been attacked has not been revealed.

How to keep safe from such an attack? It is always advised that you update your apps and smartphone software periodically, maximize the app's privacy settings, and never share unsafe content to protect your phone and personal information.