WhatsApp, Telegram Hacked: Encryption Apps Aren't Foolproof

Given what the American public has learned about the CIA's leaked surveillance techniques and other recent political news stories, it's no wonder that encrypted messaging app downloads have been on the rise.

The fear of having an intimate, private and perhaps even salacious conversation aired publicly or used for extortion purposes has made the general public's skin crawl, and though the same public has taken solace in knowing that encrypted messaging applications can help to protect their secrets, cybercriminals are working diligently to undermine the protective services of encrypted apps.

Fortunately, there are cybersecurity specialists too who have made it their mission to find code vulnerabilities and get them fixed. This happened to be the case with WhatsApp and Telegram.

According to Wired, Check Point, an Israeli security firm, was able to circumvent WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption coding "by hiding HTML code in a seemingly innocuous image. If a user clicks on it while using the web version of the app, the code runs in the victim's browser, gaining full access not only to the target's messages, but to any shared photos and videos, as well as on their contact list." The same issue hit Telegram. While WhatsApp patched the coding flaw in 24 hours, Telegram waited a number of days before patching the faulty code.

Imagine for a moment that your small business uses one of these applications to conduct one-on-one chats between management and staff. In one message exchange, a staff member vents their feelings about a particular client by name. The responding manager's messages are supportive of the employee, suggesting ways to communicate differently with the client and how to handle the stress of working with said client.

Now imagine that a hacker was able to get screenshots of the encrypted conversation. Unless you pay a ransom for the images, the hacker promises to share the information with the client that was the subject of the message. Even if you believe the conversation was tame in tone, the client could read the exchange as defamation to their character. They could in turn contact your other clients and share with them the way your company "unprofessionally" manages clients.

This can cause severe damage to your company's reputation and cause you to lose business. Cybersecurity insurance would financially prepare you for any ensuing business interruption and will cover the costs of damaged equipment and litigation, should such an extreme take place. It's for reasons like this too that your business must have a small business owners policy in place. Cyber insurance only covers cyber-related issues, while business insurance covers issues surrounding every other area of the business, including property and client accidents.

If a hacker wants to cause your business harm, they will; unlike you, they have nothing to lose. It's easy being anonymous hacker, it's not so easy being a public-facing business owner with a cyber scam attached to your name. To protect your business and business interests, make sure to get a cyber insurance policy with Cyber Policy when you click here today.

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