New Whatsapp Feature: End To End Encryption for Millions of Its Users

Whatsapp founder, Jan Koum, grew up in soviet Ukraine I the 1980s and came to really distrust the government and also he does not like surveillance. Once he shifted to the United States, he decided to create his ultra-popular messaging apps years later. As he was creating the app, he promised one thing to the users of the app, that he would never make eavesdropping easy for anyone. If you are a WhatsApp user, you have definitely cell phone spy app for android that the founder of the messaging app has followed through on his anti-snooping promise. A few days ago, WhatsApp announced that it was going through with an end to end encryption feature, which is an upgrade to its privacy protection. The upgrade has made it more than impossible for anyone to read the users messages, even the company cannot read your details as a user.

Whatsapp has integrated the open-source app Textsecure, which is a software that was made by a privacy aimed non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which uses a feature that scrambles all the messages with a certain cryptographic key. The cryptographic key is a key that only the user can access and it can never leave the device of the user once it has been activated. If you have Whatsapp installed on your phone, it is nearly impossible for a million users to crack the encryption that the cryptographic key creates. To some level, this is one of the world largest types of encryption that has been implemented in the messaging application.

The founder of the Open Whisper System and a popular software developer in the cryptography community, Moxie Marlinspike, concluded that it is the largest deployment of end to end encryption when WhatsApp decided to integrate the Textsecure software into the most popular type of messaging app in the entire world. The truth to be told, the Textsecure software has actually been secretly encrypting WhatsApp messaged in all android platforms for a week now.

So, what does this really mean for the user? With the new encryption method adopted by WhatsApp will now mean that if there is any need to get a hold of the messaged sent between users, they will have to come all the way to you so that they can decrypt the messages that they need to be unlocked. This change is quite invisible, however, the founder of the Open Whisper System has announced that Whatsapp will, later on, add features that will allow the users of WhatsApp app to verify each other’s identity which will be based on their cryptographic key. This will be a feature that will work as a defense mechanism against man-in-the-middle (3rd party) attacks that intercept conversation. Users who the messaging will not even notice the difference of the new change that has been made.

During this initial stage of the WhatsApp messaging encryption, the feature is currently limited to Android users only and only applies to the direct messages and not in group messages, videos o photos. As times goes on, the Textsecure founder has promised to expand the encryption capabilities of the messaging app into the various features that it has. Encryption for the Apple‘s iOS is also being planned so that Apple users can also benefit from this feature.

Currently, on the mobile platform, the only encrypted messaging app that compares to the new WhatsApp change is the Apple’s iMessage, which claims to have an end to end encryption, but compared to Textsecure it has various disadvantages.

The change that WhatsApp has made will be quite unpopular among many governments since it will make surveillance much harder.