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Are WhatsApp chats really end-to-end encrypted? How do WhatsApp chats of Bollywood stars get leaked?

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WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted, something that the Facebook-owned business enterprise has claimed. End-to-end encryption basically infers that nobody apart from the sender and receiver can study the messages, not even WhatsApp.

So in spite of such stringent rules, why is it that whenever there’s a Bollywood scandal, the WhatsApp chats of the individual concerned are leaked and accessed? Of late, there have been too many WhatsApp chats of Bollywood celebrities leaking.

NCB is dig in WhatsApp chats of Bollywood celebrities

In 2020, WhatsApp chats that belonged to actress Rhea Chakraborty were seen to be circulated everywhere on the internet. It was followed by Deepika Padukone heading to the NCB workplace after her chats with an alleged drug provider were accessed. The recent case involving Aryan Khan, actress Ananya Pandey was summoned by the NCB after her chats with Aryan Khan, son of Shah Rukh Khan, have been allegedly found out by the NCB authorities. 

All those incidents shout one question in our head! Whether or not WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted? And how exactly do the chats leak or are accessed through others? We try to explain.


Not even WhatsApp can access the chats

WhatsApp has constantly maintained that every one of its messages are end-to-end encrypted. In the given scenario, the messages can most effectively be examined by the sender and the receiver and no third person can benefit from getting entry to them, not even WhatsApp and Facebook. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption makes use of a Signal Protocol which keeps the third parties and WhatsApp itself from gaining access to messages or calls.

Information written on WhatsApp FAQ

“WhatsApp has no ability to see the content of messages or listen to calls that are end-to-end encrypted. That’s because the encryption and decryption of messages sent and received on WhatsApp occur entirely on your device. Before a message ever leaves your device, it’s secured with a cryptographic lock, and only the recipient has the keys. In addition, the keys change with every single message that’s sent. While all of this happens behind the scenes, you can confirm your conversations are protected by checking the security verification code on your device,” WhatsApp’s FAQ page states.

Ways to access WhatsApp chats

End-to-end encryption, while applied well, is a severe business. It is close to impossible to access the messages protected by end-to-end encryption. So, how do WhatsApp chats leak? The reality, in maximum cases, is they don’t. Instead, they are accessible. And happens when we simply unlock our smartphones and hand them over. In India, the regulation of accessing private data from gadgets like smartphones is hazy. In the United States or many European countries, police officers require a warrant prior to seizing and going through their data over computers and smartphones.

Here are numerous scenarios:

  •  The smartphone is physically accessed and the user of the phone is asked to unlock it. Once unlocked, all chats are accessible. Screenshots may be taken, they may be copied, they may be shared.
  • The smartphone is physically accessed however it isn’t unlocked. In this instance, forensics groups can do magic . WhatsApp chats are encrypted however a few weeks back the Chat Backups that WhatsApp was making to Google Drive or iCloud have not been encrypted. These chat backups can be accessed through the usage of a few specialized tools.

For example, as soon as a person has the phone, all the data on it can cloned to a laptop after which can be accessed the usage of forensic tools

  • At the same time, there’s an alternative option which is available to law enforcement agencies to approach Google and Apple  with a legitimate court order and get the WhatsApp chat backups (unencrypted till recently) from them. These backups then can be taken aside in forensic labs.

Even now when the chat backups can be encrypted, the choice must be enabled by the user. So, until you explicitly inform WhatsApp to encrypt your chat backups, they will still be in unencrypted form.

Does WhatsApp share private content with Law Authorities?

Law enforcement authorities can contact WhatsApp to share the records/data of the account information of a person in emergency situations. The stored contents of any account may also include “about” information, profile photos, group  records and address, if available. Once a request is placed, WhatsApp cautiously reviews, validates and replies to the law enforcement requests in accordance with law and policy. 

However, nowhere does the FAQ  page of WhatsApp state that the messaging app shares the message content material with the law authorities. It is due to the fact WhatsApp no longer stores messages as soon as they’re delivered or transaction logs of such added messages. The undelivered messages are deleted from WhatsApp servers after 30 days. The end-to-end encryption, that is activated through default, no longer permits WhatsApp to get entry to the chats of its users.



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