WhatsApp Users Vulnerable to IMEI based Hijacking

WhatsApp users are at risk .  If you are a smart phone owner then chances are you have, or know someone who has, WhatsApp Messenger. The cross-platform messaging app became hugely popular, sparking a lot copycat apps, in past few years possibly due to the iPhone, and other smart phones, high contract prices. The free service (after an initial one-off payment of 69p) offered by WhatsApp, that not only send texts but also extends to photos, videos and audio files, enables people to opt for a cheaper monthly contract price that includes a lower amount of free texts.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly to some people a security risk involving the app, especially across Android devices, has recently surfaced. Sam Granger has run some tests to determine how simple it would be to hijack the messaging service, trying it out on his (very trusting) friends. He was successful in his attempts.

Although the perpetrator would have to have direct access to the phone they would want to hack into, once they had the information they could send and intercept messages sent to and from the device.

The formula for doing this is readily available on the Internet and could prove lethal for people of all ages. Teenagers, who tend to be spiteful, especially under the anonymity of the Internet, could take cyber bullying to a whole new level and businessmen and women or anyone that sends or receives delicate information would be at risk.

If you have WhatsApp it might be wise to stop using it until this risk has been properly assessed and dealt with accordingly .

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