The founder of the instant messaging service Telegram, Pavel Durov, said on his Telegram channel yesterday that WhatsApp has been a surveillance tool for 13 years and people should stay away from the messaging app. He said that every year there is an issue with WhatsApp that puts its users’ data at risk.
“I’m not pushing people here to switch to Telegram. With more than 700 million active users and more than 2 million logins per day, Telegram doesn’t need any additional advertising. You can use any messaging app, but stay away from WhatsApp — it’s been a monitoring tool for 13 years now,” Durov said on his channel.
He said hackers could have full access to everything on WhatsApp users‘ phones due to a security flaw disclosed by the platform last week. All a hacker has to do to gain access to all the data on their phone is send a malicious video or start a video call.
Durov said that if you thought that updating WhatsApp to the latest version would make your data safe, that’s not really the case. He added that a similar issue was discovered in 2017 and 2018, then 2019, and then again in 2020. Before 2016, WhatsApp didn’t have end-to-end encryption, Durov pointed out.
“Every year we hear about problems in WhatsApp that endanger everything on their users’ devices. So it’s pretty sure that a new vulnerability already exists there. Such problems are hardly accidental – they are planted backdoors. If a backdoor is discovered and needs to be removed, another will be added,” he said.
The Telegram founder said that it doesn’t matter if you’re the richest person on earth; When they have WhatsApp on their phone, all their data is accessible on the device.
“That’s why I deleted WhatsApp from my devices years ago. When it’s installed, it creates a doorway to get into your phone,” Durov said.
This comes after WhatsApp issued a security warning in September. It released a fix for a vulnerability that could allow a hacker to install malware on a device while on a video call. The vulnerability has been classified as “critical”. Another flaw it points out could allow an attacker to inject a manipulated video file.
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