Daphne Caruana Galizia's Murder and the Security of WhatsApp

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese journalist whose anti-corruption investigations exposed powerful people. She was murdered in October by a car bomb.

Galizia used WhatsApp to communicate securely with her sources. Now that she is dead, the Maltese police want to break into her phone or the app, and find out who those sources were.

One journalist reports:

Part of Daphne's destroyed smart phone was elevated from the scene.

Investigators say that Caruana Galizia had not taken her laptop with her on that particular trip. If she had done so, the forensic experts would have found evidence on the ground.

Her mobile phone is also being examined, as can be seen from her WhatsApp profile, which has registered activity since the murder. But it is understood that the data is safe.

Sources close to the newsroom said that as part of the investigation her sim card has been cloned. This is done with the help of mobile service providers in similar cases. Asked if her WhatsApp messages or any other messages that were stored in her phone will be retrieved, the source said that since the messaging application is encrypted, the messages cannot be seen. Therefore it is unlikely that any data can be retrieved.

I am less optimistic than that reporter. The FBI is providing "specific assistance." The article doesn't explain that, but I would not be surprised if they were helping crack the phone.

It will be interesting to see if WhatsApp's security survives this. My guess is that it depends on how much of the phone was recovered from the bombed car.

EDITED TO ADD (11/7): The court-appointed IT expert on the case has a criminal record in the UK for theft and forgery.

Posted on November 6, 2017 at 6:12 AM • 48 Comments

Comments

DroneNovember 6, 2017 6:32 AM

"Part of Daphne's destroyed smart phone was elevated from the scene."

Well I hope that in addition to elevating the phone part they eventually translated it to some place where something useful can be done with it. Having a chunk of cell phone just floating over a crime scene seems like a waste of time and energy to me.

jmNovember 6, 2017 7:06 AM

I thought the point of WhatsApp's encryption was to protect messages in transit. Does it also claim to encrypt them at rest (separately from any such encryption performed by the operating system)? I can't seem to find such a claim on their website, though I may just be missing it.

225November 6, 2017 7:13 AM

From the linked article the victim was deleting everything after reading messages, so if we trust that then there is not much anyone could do with the unlocked phone now. maybe pretend to be her and then also pretend to not be car bombed?

I think the double ratchet signal cryptography magic means even if they had saved older encrypted eavesdropped messages then getting the phone unlocked now would not allow them to decrpyt them now.

Vesselin BontchevNovember 6, 2017 7:24 AM

Bruce, WhatsApp uses the Signal protocol. It is the most secure message transit protocol known to the public. It provides perfect forward secrecy - I trust I don't have to explain what this is.

I am confident that the contents of the encrypted messages will not be recovered. However, unlike Whisper Systems (the developers of the Signal protocol and the freeware application with the same name that uses it), Facebook does collect metadata from those who use WhatsApp, so the journalist's sources could still be uncovered, if Facebook can be forced to share this data.

AnonNovember 6, 2017 7:26 AM

chunk of cellphone

The report suggests that at least the memory module survived, if not the phone electronics themselves.

Even if they clone the sim and try and get WhatsApp running on another phone, the usefulness of this seems extremely limited, as the contacts and chats would be on the other handset.

WhatsApp has some troubling wording in their FAQ, too.

For Android, it states that backups are taken daily and stored on the phone.

For iPhone, it states that chat backups of DELETED messages can't be recovered from their servers. So... does that mean that some chats can??

Android: https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/android/20887921

iPhone: https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/iphone/20888066

There are numerous other issues, too, such as the e-mail chat feature on the Android FAQ does not state that plaintext e-mail will compromise any message security.

Too many questions; so few answers. WhatsApp looks like a security sieve.

ThaumaTechnicianNovember 6, 2017 7:29 AM

@225: Depending on the phone's OS, it's possible that the data in the phone wasn't encrypted. In that case, deleting the messages doesn't really/necessarily delete the data.

@Drone: It's possible that the article was originally written in Italian, in which case (in guessing) the verb there might/should have been "spirited away" [by the police].

225November 6, 2017 7:53 AM

@ThaumaTechnician I sort of get what you mean, like if there was a big old file and she hits the delete button then its still there just in an un referenced part of memory waiting to be found by a file recovering program like "TestDisk".

But for deleted text messages and addresses I don't like their chances, I would hope whatsapp would only hold these in volatile memory which would be totally unreadable after losing power.

DanielNovember 6, 2017 9:05 AM

@drone

But that is what is so fun about English becoming more of a universal language: different cultures and societies make of it what they will. There are all sorts of cool idioms and interesting phrases that come out. I read "elevated" as "retrieved" and in a certain way it makes perfect sense. If the phone was lying on the ground then when they picked it up to retrieve it in a raw physical sense they elevated it, in the same way Americans use the word elevator to describe what the Brits would call a lift.

Think laterally.

RachelNovember 6, 2017 9:10 AM

Theatre. It is impossible the phone survived. It would have been incinerated. Did you read reports of the event? The explosion was so powerful it sent the car into a nearby field.

225November 6, 2017 9:17 AM

@Daniel

But then the Brits would call the ground floor in this lift a "0" and the yanks would call the elevator ground floor equivalent "1", where is your lateral thinking fun town idiom god now!11!!!

Malta dwellerNovember 6, 2017 9:29 AM

"Daphne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese journalist whose anti-corruption investigations exposed powerful people."

Regarding this, the most plausible explanation for the car bomb that I have seen has been about researching Mafia involved in smuggling petrol from Libya.

parabarbarianNovember 6, 2017 9:38 AM

I am not near as qualified as some here to have an opinion on how good WhatsApp security really is. However, Facebook is a leader in the surveillance model of Internet moneymaking so it is a good bet they have a lot of data regarding whom Ms Galizia communicated with. Whether the EU authorities will be able to get that information is still unknown but I am betting Facebook will turn it over.

Jason McNeillNovember 6, 2017 9:44 AM

This all goes to show that it's simply more secure, and involves fewer unknown variables, to encrypt content BEFORE it is sent to the recipient. In other words, symmetric for the win. Signal and WhatsApp use asymmetric encryption, depending on the reliability of the initial exchange of public keys. In the FAQ of WhatsApp...
https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/general/28030015

...users who are in physical proximity to each other are encouraged in that FAQ to scan each other's QR codes to ensure that their subsequent communication is encrypted:
"If you and your contact are physically next to each other, one of you can scan the other's QR code or visually compare the 60-digit number. If you scan the QR code, and the code is indeed the same, a green checkmark will appear. Since they match, you can be sure no one is intercepting your messages or calls."

But if you're already able to exchange keys in person (or to reliably verify the other person's public key), why not use the opportunity to exchange symmetric keys while you're offline? Thereafter, simply encrypt using that shared key and send the encrypted text, encoded as Base64, through the medium of your choice: human courier, e-mail, or instant message.

Imagine that you had a bunch of files that you put into a ZIP, and you wanted to encrypt the ZIP, a binary file. Follow the process below, using a password of your choosing (the more complex the better) which will become the symmetric key. ***This password is what you would share with the other recipient before communication can begin.*** Here's how you would encrypt your ZIP file with a password:

1. Install OpenSSL on your operating system (make sure that you add its "bin" directory to your operating system's PATH environment variable, e.g. C:\OpenSSL-Win64\bin ).

2. Save the binary file that you want to encrypt to your hard drive (e.g. a PDF, Word, ZIP, JPG, etc.).

3. Open a command-line terminal. In the terminal, navigate (cd) into the directory where the file from step 2 exists.

4. To ENCRYPT from the original file into a new encrypted file, e.g. from "test.docx" into "test.docx.txt" (swap out the quoted values below and input your own as needed):

openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -a -salt -in "test.docx" -out "test.docx.txt"

5. To DECRYPT from the encrypted file back into the original file, e.g. from "test.docx.txt" back into "test.docx" (swap out the quoted values below and input your own as needed):

openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -d -a -in "test.docx.txt" -out "test.docx"

meNovember 6, 2017 10:08 AM

@Jason McNeill
why not use the opportunity to exchange symmetric keys while you're offline?

because you don't have forward secrecy in that way.

and because if you use symmetric crypto you must have N keys (one for each contact)
you can't have one key only shared for every contact (no sense because every contact can decrypt other contatcs chats)

with public key crypto you can have forward secrecy and have only one key wihtout compromising your security.

AJWMNovember 6, 2017 10:32 AM

Re: "elevated" - I'd bet that someone translated the Italian to "lifted" then confused the British and American terms "lift" and "elevator" to end up with "elevated".

Jason McNeillNovember 6, 2017 10:39 AM

@"me":
"...if you use symmetric crypto you must have N keys (one for each contact).
You can't have one key only shared for every contact."

What's so hard about making a separate password (which will become a key) for every contact? Anyone can make up a new password. It's easy to use symmetric crypto, and it's intuitive. A password is the secret? Everybody understands that. Exchanging the password in a secure and reliable way is hard? People get that part too. Passwords can be exchanged in all sorts of ways, reliable and unpredictable ways. But once passwords are successfully and discreetly exchanged (i.e. once the keys are exchanged), the hard work is done. Communication can begin from that point onward.

People use services like WhatsApp, Signal and others because they make things easy. However it's a lot harder to make sure that the public keys are being reliably exchanged. Initial public key exchange is done insecurely. There may be someone in the middle who swapped out the recipient's public key with their own, and thereafter acted as a hidden forwarder of messages from person A to person B and vice-versa. In order to verify the authenticity of public keys, you need to check a reliable third party. How do you know that party hasn't been compromised? The article Bruce wrote refers to a reporter who is struggling to report information about a state actor. State actors can compromise certificate authorities; they can monitor all communications; they can map who is connected to who in their communications, travels and transactions. Services like WhatsApp and even Signal can be compelled to provide meta data about the communicating parties: their IP addresses, times and dates of communication, and perhaps more.

On top of all this, the keyspace for asymmetric crypto is significantly smaller than that of symmetric crypto. That means that anyone who tries to utilize brute force methods with cloud computing or quantum computing will have an easier time compromising asymmetric crypto. Asymmetric crypto is weaker than symmetric for precisely that reason.

Gunter KönigsmannNovember 6, 2017 12:13 PM

If I shut down my phone and open it again all Whatsapp messages reappear without me being asked for any password or similar. If they are stored in an encrypted way they cannot be encrypted strong enough for not allowing automated recovery even if they were transported in more secure ways (hopefully, as states can ask Whatsapp to use an specific encryption key for an specific user). Also at least all Attachments are saved in plain text on the sd card for everyone to read, at least on Android.

I think in Germany Facebook promised to stop collecting the metadata for a while. But I don't know for how long.

Not much security, I suppose.

saddogNovember 6, 2017 1:15 PM

Seems like anyone who's rich and really wants to know who these sources are could simply bribe some low-paid employee for the "envelope" meta-data. When the bribe is 10 or 20 years salary... Why bother with a lead pipe when your not the one breaking the law, you won't miss the money, and you can just write a check.

dragonfrogNovember 6, 2017 1:19 PM

WhatsApp encrypts only the transmission of the message - so WhatsApp Inc. (now Facebook) and the various telcos don't have access to the messages.

It does not encrypt local storage, nor is there any option to do so (at least not in the version installed on my phone).

John CarterNovember 6, 2017 1:26 PM

Something is very Wrong and Creepy in that the Maltese police are going after her sources rather than the targets of her investigations.

faNovember 6, 2017 1:30 PM

'Elevated' is most probably a translation of the Italian 'rilevato'.
Which can mean all sorts of things, but in this case just 'found' or 'retrieved'.


handle_xNovember 6, 2017 2:12 PM

" It is impossible the phone survived. It would have been incinerated. "

There's a reason people go looking for that evidence even if unlikely.

You wouldn't be the first to be wrong assuming such things out of hand.

IggyNovember 6, 2017 2:59 PM

@Rachel, one would think but look up Lockerbie, Pan Am Flight 103. Gives new meaning to the bromide "never give up."

AlejandroNovember 6, 2017 3:04 PM

I assume the reason Facebook bought Whatsapp was to put a backdoor in it and sell data to world governments or whomsoever on the open market.

My view is a lot of good apps were bought off by the big players in order primarily to subvert them for the government. If the apps were indeed solidly private and secure, the government would be going nuts.

It's because: Security.

Billy OckhamNovember 6, 2017 3:19 PM

All this fuss about "elevated"?

Car go boom, phone go WEEEEE through the air - thus avoiding total incineration and solving the apparent language oddity in one go.

JonNovember 6, 2017 6:03 PM

Minor problem still being that "lifted" is American slang for being stolen (generally by stealth). E.g. "My wallet and phone got lifted from my gym locker last week". J.

hmmNovember 6, 2017 7:54 PM

"elevated" has a new connotation in the vape-carrying urban scene, according to pesky kids on my lawn.

hmmNovember 7, 2017 1:11 AM

"If you’re a Firefox or Safari user, you don’t need to install Chrome to send and receive Signal messages on your computer. If you’re a Chrome user, having your browser open will no longer be synonymous with having Signal Desktop open."

That installing chrome instead of SAFARI is somehow a bad idea is a pretty odd marketing point, as if having a browser window open were somehow bad either? Granted they (hopefully) are somewhat more secure by utilizing their own standalone codebase but IS THAT ACTUALLY SO? Very possibly maybe!

The page ends asking people to report bugs, and then says "We're hiring!" in huge H1.

Well then.

Dom McIntyre De VittoNovember 7, 2017 3:09 AM

WhatsApps use of signal is good, but it’s basically a transport protocol - nothing “secure” is done with the messages at rest, beyond OS file system encryption.

If I recall correctly, if you can get an unencrypted backup of the message database, eg from iCloud, you can view all undeleted messages, and even some deleted ones, as the app doesn’t overwrite messages before marking them deleted in the database.

They no doubt have the SIM in another phone waiting to snare those who ignore the “security number changed” warning...

RachelNovember 7, 2017 3:53 AM

Iggy

I remember. And, why don't they make the plane out of the same material the black box is made ;-) in recent years it appears passports are equally indestructible.

Sorry but as an ex firefighter I know personally how robust- or not - phones are. Caustic commentators aside. Just because something is a headline doesnt make it true.Unless Sage Clive has a comment refuting my stance I reserve the right to disavow this article of credibility.

Good for raising discussion, for folks like us, on systems protocols etc. Theres that.

handle_xNovember 7, 2017 4:00 AM

"Sorry but as an ex firefighter I know personally how robust- or not - phones are. "

As an ex firefighter myself I also know how explosions are unpredictable and evidence often survives despite the most ardent assumptions, caustic though they may be to finding out what actually happened. That's all I'm interested in.

Tim#3November 7, 2017 6:44 AM

Last week, a friend messaged me on whatsapp that she was going to a ceroc dance class.

Later that evening, I go onto Facebook on my PC.

I am not friends with her on Facebook, nor do I have her email address or have ever contacted her on that PC. I have never used Facebook on my phone either, as I read that the app uses up battery and you can't switch it off.

On my Facebook timeline, I was presented with an advert for a dance class in the area in which she lives.

That cannot be a coincidence.


velvet flapNovember 7, 2017 7:58 AM

@Tim#3

No, it's not a coincidence. The way it works is: they know your friend is into dancing because she has probably been looking it up on the web (3rd party cookies) and maybe even posting about it on her facebook page. They know where you and your friend live (geolocation). They know that you two communicate with each other and how often you do so (even if they can't necessarily read the content of the messages). If you looked up the dance school that your friend suggested (3rd party cookies) they've got all they need and they can arrive at the following conclusions:

-both of you know each other and communicate with each other
-both of you live in the same area
-both of you have been looking into dancing recently

The key here is associating all the information they have about you, and those connected with you, from a whole range of different sources (not just your app, not just your web browsing, not just your phone...) but all of those sources in combination.

What they did there is fact a relatively safe inference. If you think that was creepy, you might want to see how they can figure out stuff like your sexual preference or estimated annual income.

alex pNovember 7, 2017 9:07 AM

You can indeed enable 2 step verification in the WhatsApp at least on Android. I have it setup on mine. If I reboot my phone and start up WhatsApp it requires the number only I know. Goto top right of the app where the 3 vertical dots are and follow Settings->Account->Two-step verification. It also randomly requires the number when I just start up the app to communicate. Not always but it is there.

handle_xNovember 7, 2017 3:19 PM

FB is trying out a "revenge pr0n" stopgap whereby the victims upload the photos THEMSELVES and ask FB to block them out with hashtags.

Brave new world.

Clive RobinsonNovember 7, 2017 5:01 PM

@ Rachel,

It is impossible the phone survived. It would have been incinerated. Did you read reports of the event? The explosion was so powerful it sent the car into a nearby field.

Whilst the phone casings lcd and even PCB might have been damaged, it's unlikely the solid state memory chips were.

Modern artillery shells use electronic fuses in the likes of howitzers. The shell is launched, travels 10Km or more, and can be set to detonate after the shell has penetrated the ground or armoured vehicles or defensive positions. It has been known for parts of the electronics inside a hundered pound shell to actually survive the explosion in what is in effect a very high preasure plasma condition.

Also the electronic timers and phones used in terrorist bombs have survived sufficiently well for evidence to be recovered.

It is suprisingly difficult to destroy a chip embedded in plastic resin packaging with an external explosion. It's why certain specialised security chips actually have miniture "shaped charges" embedded in with the actual chip.

It's just one reason why you realy need multi-level encryption with modern storage devices. But getting the crypto right in storage devices is at best difficult at worst just a useless waste of resources. But worse still is few people have an understanding of KeyMan and the myriad of life cycle stages all of which need not just strong control and security but secure and reliable auditing as well.

IggyNovember 7, 2017 6:18 PM

@Rachel,

;-) Caustic commentaters aside, indeed. Great Q re aircraft fuselage, lol. I actually think the Black Box should be encased further in a material that inflates on impact and jettisons away, bounces over land and floats on water, not unlike ejector seats for fighter pilots. Perhaps every seat should have ejection and flotation capability.

Post 9/11 Commission Report, I've been marveling that the pilots are still--still--allowed to turn off transponders manually. Three thousand dead and they still want god rights over that. Unforgivable.

But I digress.

@Clive has weighed in and per usual, adds good to know details.

Fire fighters are among my favorite good people, active or inactive. Cheers.

hmmNovember 7, 2017 6:28 PM

The reason they have switches on transponders is because electrical shorts cause fires on aircraft. It's not about pilots playing god, there's a good reason for it.

65535November 7, 2017 9:11 PM

@ John Carter

“Something is very Wrong and Creepy in that the Maltese police are going after her sources rather than the targets of her investigations.”

I agree.

I thought the “mafia” was mostly in Italy but it very possible Greece and Malta is close enough. I would guess the small Malta government is entwined in corruption.

“Caruana Galizia was also arrested by the Malta Police Force on two occasions… Forensic teams and police investigators arrived at the crime scene soon after the explosions. The head of the magisterial inquiry was to be Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera, who had fought a legal battle with Caruana Galizia in 2010–11. Caruana Galizia's family successfully challenged her role in the investigation citing no confidence in the magistrate. Scerri Herrera abstained from the investigation 17 hours later and was replaced by Magistrate Anthony Vella… Her family lambasted the Maltese authorities for doing nothing against a growing culture of impunity and lawlessness in Malta, saying that Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Chris Cardona, Konrad Mizzi, Attorney General Peter Grech and a long list of police commissioners who took no action, were complicit in her death.[41] Her family refused to endorse the setting up of a government reward for information, despite pressure from the Prime Minister and President, and insisted that the Prime Minister ought to resign.[44]” -Wikipedia 1

And

“Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera has abstained from continuing the inquiry into the car bomb murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. It follows an application by the Caruana Galizia family who yesterday called on the magistrate to abstain because they have no confidence in her. Magistrate Scerri Herrera had been the subject of criticism by Caruana Galizia and had later sued the blogger, claiming harassment. Magistrate Scerri Herrera visited the murder scene yesterday and later summoned the family members to court, before taking her decision this morning”-TimesOfMalta
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20171017/local/magistrate-scerri-herrera-abstains-from-caruana-galizia-inquiry.660624
And

“EDITED TO ADD (11/7): The court-appointed IT expert on the case has a criminal record in the UK for theft and forgery.”- Bruce S

I would guess Malta is corrupt from top to bottom. But, that is just a guess.

@ Rachel

“Theatre. It is impossible the phone survived. It would have been incinerated. Did you read reports of the event? The explosion was so powerful it sent the car into a nearby field.”-Rachel

“The blast from the bomb planted in the rented Peugeot of Malta’s best-known investigative journalist was so powerful it took police investigators four days to collect body parts and wreckage scattered across sun-baked fields next to the road.” –NYT

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/world/europe/malta-daphne-caruana-galizia.html

“The large explosion left the vehicle scattered in several pieces across nearby fields. She was in the driver's seat at the time. Her remains were found by her son Matthew, 80 meters away from the blast site, after he heard a blast from their family home. He wrote on Facebook: “I looked down and there were my mother’s body parts all around me”. Her death marks the sixth car-bombing in Malta since the beginning of 2016, and the fourth fatality… Her last blog post before leaving in her car read, “There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate…” –Wikipedia 1

My old neighbor was in both Iraq and Afghanistan and saw some bad car bombs. These are bombs would tear the car to pieces, splash burning gasoline into a fire ball and spray strands of body tissue on the perimeter wire yet some sheets of paper would be untouched because they were blow clear of the fire. It is possible that her mobile phone was found in pieces and supposedly her laptop… which was found and then not found.

This is a real life and death situation. It puts digital security and OPSEC into perspective. I will say that Daphne Galizia did not have good OPSEC. This could have been her down fall.

@ Jason McNeill

Thanks for the interesting post on using OpenSSL for symmetric encryption. I will give it a go on a windows 7 box and see if I can make it work.

@ AlanS, Jason McNeill, Gunter Königsmann and others:

Whatsapp uses the Signal protocol but isn't as secure. Micah Lee on the differences:

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/22/battle-of-the-secure-messaging-apps-how-signal-beats-whatsapp/

Whatsapp has got security problems particularly with Facebook’s spying techniques.

If I was a high risk journalist and did not want to be blown into little pieces I would not use Whatsapp and I would take all steps to harden my OPSEC. Both secure digital techniques and OPSEC techniques are very important.

Even mobile phones which require a credit check and banking information exposure should not be used in high risk situations. I would probably take the steps Snowden took to avoid complete dismemberment.

Now, how to exactly take the steps Snowden took are hard to do for those on a tight budget or already compromised with OPSEC leaks.

Wikipedia 1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Caruana_Galizia

Clive RobinsonNovember 7, 2017 9:14 PM

@ hmm, iggy,

The reason they have switches on transponders is because electrical shorts cause fires on aircraft.

It's not just fires that are the issue.

Transponders are these days in effect a receiver a transmitter and control logic. Both the receiver and transmitter contain their own control logic for the synthesizers and T/R switching logic.

The logic is nolonger entirely "hard logic" as it once used to be but mainly "soft logic" based on microcontroler units (MCUs).

Without going into the ins and outs of metastability, there is a finite probability the MCU will latch/lock up. Even though the probability is very small the only solution to a latch/lock up is to "cycle the power" off then on again.

One way to do this automatically is with the likes of a "Brown Out" detector backed up by a "Watchdog timer". However they are just other forms of "Hard Logic" subject to latch/lock up, but worse they both have "analog circuitry" for performing their function which makes the probability of a latch/lock up more likely.

The problem with this is it's a "Turtles all the way down" problem. That is the more protection logic you add either as hard or soft logic the more likely a soft lockup is likely to be...

Thus the soloution --of first resort-- is a manual power cycle. As this can be done in seconds it's in effect "a standard featute" to regain control. And such a proceadure should be found in one of the many aircraft manuals.

In theory all avionics can be powered down and the aircraft should be not just able to fly but also be able to be correctly flown without them (hence air speed, attitude and direction should be old fashioned non electronic instruments).

RachelNovember 8, 2017 3:36 AM

Clive

Well? (Irish greeting)
i'm not the only one to appreciate and benefit (not literally benefit!) from your explaination, I stand corrected.

65535
thanks, did read those reports at the time. her opsec is interesting question. As a journalist she seemed to be extremely professional. But miracle is more that she survived as long as she did. The adult son said death threats were part of life, as a child growing up

Iggy
thanks, professional wildfire not structural fire. different kettle of fish. horrible work ;-)
got to experience what radiant heat does to a phone on several occasions. but, i enjoyed being corrected here

kravietzNovember 9, 2017 5:39 AM

If they cloned SIM card, they can simply restore the messages from the cloud backup. This is easy and WhasApp program will offer this when re-installing the client for a number with existing conversations. The only control that could probably prevent this is if the victim enabled two-factor authentication which, in case of WhatsApp, is a 4-6 digits long number that can be optionally configured by the owner. I guess the word "optionally" says it all, however...

IggyNovember 9, 2017 11:22 AM

@Clive, Rachel, et al

I'd like to discuss transponder safety more but will wait for the squid blog as here this is going off topic.

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