WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular instant messengers: they are more than a billion people. National recognition he deserved due to its convenience. For $1 a year (and more recently and completely free) service offers unlimited communication, with messages that may contain both text and photographs or video. Also using WhatsApp, you can call — for free, of course, if not to take into account the cost of used traffic. However, many have repeatedly complained that communication in WhatsApp was not very private — the service has had serious security issues.
And now WhatsApp has announced the completion of the technology implementation end-to-end encryption. This step can make the messenger more popular, and various intelligence agencies to cause a headache, because now to decipher the conversations of a billion users is not easily obtained.
In fact, the encryption in WhatsApp app — for Android. Messenger relied on the usual SSL and TLS protocols that are used, for example, to email. However, the implementation of encryption even with the same Protocol may be very different, and it depends on how easily one can intercept and read your messages. Before encryption in WhatsApp was “leaky” and allowed to get and to decipher the correspondence. Besides, some part of the data was not encrypted.
At the time WhatsApp got 2 points out of 7 in the survey the EFF and hit the “black list” of unsafe messengers “Kaspersky Lab”. However, at that time it was known that WhatsApp has agreed with the company Open Whisper Systems on the implementation of the encryption Protocol Signal Protocol, and it promised to make messenger more secure.
Open Whisper Systems is a non — profit organization that developed one of the most protected (according to the same EFF) messengers — Signal as well as a safe program RedPhone for voice calls. All of these EFF got 7 out of 7 points. Now, however, due to the fact that WhatsApp is used in the Signal Protocol, a popular instant messenger almost caught up with all of these programs are in the updated table EFF it already 6 stars out of 7.
In 2014 2 star WhatsApp relied for what he was able to encrypt correspondence and passed an independent audit in less than the year before. Now he got 4 stars. One of them went to the app for what encryption Protocol does not allow to the makers of the messenger to decrypt the messages. Because the same approach, incidentally, sparked by the recent standoff between Apple and the FBI — “Apple” the company has stated that it is not possible to extract data from a locked phone.
Another star WhatsApp got that in the beginning of the conversation, users can ensure that they communicate with each other and not with someone else. As well as that in the channel there is no third party eavesdropping. Fifth star went to the messenger for the fact that he is constantly changing the keys. Finally, the sixth star WhatsApp deserve for the implementation of the Protocol Signal it is completely documented.
EFF did not give seventh star WhatsApp because the messenger needs to be open source.
Nevertheless 6 stars is much more than most other messengers. For example, Skype and Yahoo Messenger still 1 star, and the main competitor of WhatsApp, Viber messenger, only 2. Popular solutions to WhatsApp in terms of security can compete only secret chats in Telegram, which EFF has awarded 7 stars.