This morning we woke up to find that whatsapp has been hacked and we need to update the app. Loads of use whatsapp and many people in dodgy countries, journalists, business and government people and human rights activists will be worried as they rely on it’s encryption for security. Often their personal security.
There are two key things that are amazing about this hack:
1. It accessed your phone by simply placing a call to you on whatsapp – a call you didn’t hear, see or answer. Wow.
2. The people who developed it are an Israeli firm of supposed ‘white hackers’ called NSO – who sell these hacks to governments. Which governments …….
Point one is just plain old scary. Thankfully whatsapp found the exploit and closed it down. Bravo whatsapp.
Point two clearly illustrates why we need to have strong encryption that no one has the key to. You see, who decides who are the ‘good guys’ and that what they are doing with these hacking tools is OK. Do you really want Big Brother Trump or Little Sisters Theresa May and Amber Rudd with these tools? Or the Chinese, or Russians, or religious extremists. Didn’t think so.
Remember when the NSA was itself hacked 2 years ago and their treasure trove of hacking software got into the wild? Well it turns out that the Chinese Buckeye government group called Buckeye had been using those tools already. In other words, if one person has a hacking tool or backdoor, then it’s possible, and quite likely, that others will have it as well. This is why we need strong unbreakable encryption. It’s our only protection. The minute there’s a back door, others will find it.
Are you listening May and Rudd!