SaltDNA CEO says WhatsApp attack could not have happened on its platform

  • The CEO of Belfast-based cyber security firm SaltDNA has said that the recent WhatsApp attack would not be possible on its secure enterprise communication platform.

    Last week messaging app WhatsApp suffered a serious cyber security attack when it became known that the software had a vulnerability that let anyone install spyware on a device without the user knowing. This led to a wave of complaints online about the pointlessness of having WhatsApp's secure end-to-end encryption.

    Communication on WhatsApp is secured using end-to-end encryption to prevent messages from being intercepted, but this attack involved a bug in the app itself being exploited so that the attacker can access the device directly. The attacker could access your WhatsApp messages directly and it's possible that they could have access to information outside the app such as emails, photos, and location data.

    In response to the attack, local cyber security firm SaltDNA was keen to point out that the encryption itself wasnt the problem but the fact that whatsapp allows open connections between users that don't know each other. The attack was implemented by phoning the user, which required just a phone number and no permission. SaltDNA's system is a more closed platform that wouldn't permit this.

    SaltDNA’s CEO Joe Boyle stated, ‘’This attack could not have happened on the SaltDNA system. This latest WhatsApp hack emphasises the threat posed by consumer apps with open contact lists and directories. Claiming that an app is ‘secure’ simply because it uses encryption for the messages is a mistake. Security requires control and management around the encryption and Salt provides this protection better than anyone else on the market today.’’

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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