(File photo: Reuters)
(File photo: Reuters)

Opinion | Spooky chats

If Check Point’s findings hold any merit, it would unsettle WhatsApp users

The Indian government and WhatsApp may have new issues to spar over. An Israeli cybersecurity firm, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, says it has found three flaws in the app that hackers could exploit. According to a Bloomberg report, one loophole can be used to alter the appearance of a message sender’s identity. A hacker could also change the text of someone’s reply. A third glitch, which the report says has been fixed, could let a person send a private message to another member of a group, but without the addressee realizing that a response would be visible to others. The report says a spokesperson of the firm refused to comment.

If Check Point’s findings hold any merit, it would unsettle WhatsApp users. It would also complicate the app’s dialogue with the Indian government over the problem of fake news. That messages can be mangled and masked would make any effort to identify culprits harder still. If the app is indeed vulnerable to hackers, the Facebook-owned service should act right away to strengthen its security. So far, the confidentiality of the app has been trusted by users. It must not lose that trust.

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