One of the most well-known messaging apps in the world is WhatsApp, a system which is owned by Meta. The software is used by over two billion individuals, sending over 55 billion messages daily. Therefore, it is not surprising that spam, malware threats, and security issues are starting to be more widely reported in regards to the platform.
Integrated Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is expected to reach 204.8 billion corporate consumers, becoming an essential business tool. Many of the popular communication platforms provide VoIP as well as messaging and video calls, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. It seems the goal for WhatsApp is to become an all-round consumer platform, but how secure are WhatsApp voice calls in its current form in regards to privacy and data protection?
Here is everything you need to know about the most prevalent security flaws and frauds involving voice calls on WhatsApp.
Are WhatsApp voice calls really secure?
Given how long VoIP calling services have been in existence, you’d assume that any bugs in the fundamental call connection protocols would have been ironed out by now. However, each service’s actual implementation varies slightly.
By offering end-to-end encrypted calling, as WhatsApp notably does, makes things tougher, but the nature of WhatsApp makes their encryption somewhat pointless. End-to-end encryption is important, but security experts have long warned that the most susceptible time for your data is when it is stored or presented at one end or the other, whether that be on a screen, a disc, in memory, or on a cloud-based device.
If someone can take over a device, they can read the messages and listen in on calls without having to decrypt them. Additionally, it is becoming simpler and simpler to compromise endpoints, including voice calls on smartphones, with WhatsApp often being used as the avenue onto user’s phones based on the open and unprotected nature of their solution.
The Security Flaws in using WhatsApp for calls
You may remember back in 2019 that WhatsApp’s voice calls were used to inject Israeli spyware onto users’ mobile phones. Attackers were able to install the spyware on both iPhones and Android phones by calling targets using the phone call feature of the app, which was detected in early May 2019. The spyware vendor claimed that the malicious code, created by the covert Israeli business NSO Group, could be transferred even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls frequently vanished from call logs.
Pegasus, the company’s flagship tool, can activate a phone’s microphone and camera, search through emails and texts, and gather location information. This attack is a prime example of how easily WhatsApp can be hacked via their voice calls and has all the telltale signs of coming from a private corporation known to collaborate with governments to deploy spyware that supposedly hijacks the features of mobile phone operating systems.
How to prevent your voice calls from being hacked
According to WhatsApp’s own terms of service, using the platform for business or professional objectives is not recommended:
“You will not use (or assist others in using) our Services in ways that:
(f) involve any non-personal use of our Services unless otherwise authorized by us.”
WhatsApp protects themselves from the hazards associated with business-related chats by mentioning this in their T&Cs. In other words, you can’t blame WhatsApp if a security issue or data breach arises as a result of using the platform to distribute firm information to your staff. You have been warned!
Having a specialised secure app made for workplace communication is without a doubt the greatest option to keep your business calls secure when all of the aforementioned threats are taken into account. Since there have been high-profile problems with WhatsApp’s desktop software, messaging, and phone calls in addition to its messaging service, many users are seeking alternatives for their sensitive business conversations. There are still questions about how safe WhatsApp voice calls are due to cybercriminals setting up phishing websites that resemble WhatsApp Web, spammy forwarded messages, and third-party apps that can capture WhatsApp voice calls. The privacy of data, particularly for those using an integrated platform for business, cannot be stressed enough.
Spammers, con artists, and hackers literally crawl all over consumer communication platforms like WhatsApp on a daily basis. Yet companies continue to exchange sensitive internal data on these platforms every day. One voice call on WhatsApp is enough to establish surveillance, so take action now for your business before it’s too late.
With Salt Communications, voice calls within our system are performed with the highest quality, military-grade AES-256 encryption, ensuring that no unauthorised users may listen in on your confidential conversations. With additional security measures in place under the surface Salt Communications is the best tool for confidential business communications. Many of the security issues with consumer platforms come as a result of a lack of control for the users and especially when those users are employees of an organisation. Salt offers a solution to these issues, providing a closed and managed service that can be deployed under the complete control of the organisations we sell to. With this control you as a company can lock down many of the vulnerabilities associated with consumer platforms.
To sign up for a free trial of Salt Communications contact us on email@example.com or visit our website at https://saltcommunications.com/.
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About Salt Communications
Salt Communications is a multi-award winning cyber security company providing a fully enterprise-managed software solution giving absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. Salt Communications offers ‘Peace of Mind’ for Organisations who value their privacy, by giving them complete control and secure communications, to protect their trusted relationships and stay safe. Salt Communications is headquartered in Belfast, N. Ireland, for more information visit Salt Communications.