Messaging service WhatsApp has a new security bug which allows strangers to see your private photos, even after you have tweaked your security settings to ‘contact-only’.
Indrajeet Bhuyan, a 17-year old security researcher discovered the issue which is believed to have come about with the new web version.
Experts say the problem is due to the phone app not being synched properly with the new web interface. Usually, the app’s users can set the service to only allow their contacts to see their photos, but the virus allows strangers into users’ profile photos via the PC.
The web app also allows access to photos that have been deleted on the phone – where normally they are blurred on the phone app – making them clearly available indefinitely.
Although security expert Graham Cluley admits that this is not the most serious privacy breach ever, he adds, “The fact is that WhatsApp users chose to keep their profile photos private, and their expectation is that WhatsApp will honour their choices and only allow their photos to be viewable by those who the user has approved”.
Having been introduced on January 21, the web app had many people excited to finally be able to read and respond to messages from their computers. However, amidst the excitement, some users were disappointed with the web app’s limited compatibility and functions.
TNT will update you if and when more security updates are introduced to the web app.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri