End-to-end encryption is used by the WhatsApp instant messaging application as a security measure, preventing anyone from eavesdropping on a user’s chats.
In reality, even WhatsApp has no way of listening in on encrypted talks. As a result, WhatsApp chats can only be accessed by the user’s account.
If WhatsApp used end-to-end encryption, then it would be impossible to eavesdrop on messages in transit. Whatsapp can still be tapped, unfortunately. The question then becomes, how can WhatsApp be hacked? Here’s how WhatsApp is intercepted in greater detail if you’re interested.
How WhatsApp is bugged
Communication between users is encrypted using end-to-end security, but user accounts are not. According to the official WhatsApp FAQ website, eavesdropping or hacking can take place if an unauthorised third party obtains credentials for the One Time Password (OTP) code used to access the service.
When a user wants to log in to their WhatsApp account, the system typically sends the OTP code to their phone number by SMS. In order for users to log in to WhatsApp, the OTP code authenticates the account.
The user’s WhatsApp account may be hacked, tapped, or controlled if the OTP code is accessed by a third party. A user’s WhatsApp account OTP code can be compromised in a number of different ways.
Users are initially tricked into spreading it. A social engineering method is used in the area of cybercrime, in which a hacker will seduce or persuade a user to directly reveal his OTP code.
Second, users that access dangerous sites supplied by fraudsters or install malicious software can disseminate OTP codes. Users of this application do not directly exchange their OTP code with one another, unlike the method described above.
Fraudsters can gain unauthorised access to SMS on smartphone when users are tricked into downloading harmful software or clicking on dangerous links. Next you can use the OTP code you found to access the user’s WhatsApp account.
After the user’s OTP code is obtained, fraudsters or others will have remote access to their WhatsApp account and can take over control of it. The user may not be the one initiating all of the discussions on their WhatsApp account.
The user’s WhatsApp account on their phone can then unexpectedly log out of control as the next feature. If a WhatsApp account exhibits these traits, it is likely that an unauthorised third party has gained control of it.
What are some ways to prevent your WhatsApp from being tapped if you see any of these signs? Please refer to the section below on how to handle being tapped on WhatsApp for further information.
What to do when your WhatsApp has been hacked
1. Remove Malicious Apps that Scammers Share
Please remove the application from your phone if you have already installed a harmful app or virus from a scammer who can steal the OTP code. Most Android phones’ “Settings” menus have a “Delete” option for erasing data.
Once you’re there, click the “Apps” tab. Locate the malicious application you just installed, then select “Uninstall” from the menu. It is recommended that you restart your smartphone after removing any unwanted software. To prevent access to malicious apps used to generate one-time-passwords on mobile devices, this is crucial.
2. Reinstall WhatsApp
Reinstalling the WhatsApp application is recommended if you notice that your account has unexpectedly locked you out of your phone. To fix this, uninstall and then reinstall the WhatsApp application.
Use the hacked WhatsApp number to log in when you launch the app. Enter the one-time verification code (OTP) that was issued to your mobile number through text message to confirm your account.
You may have to wait up to 12 hours for a new OTP code if a hacker has already used the one you had to log into your WhatsApp account.
The account is considered recovered once the OTP code has been entered and the user has successfully logged in. If that doesn’t work, you can still try to help by letting WhatsApp know about stolen accounts through their official support email.
3. Report to the WhatsApp Support E-mail Address
According to WhatsApp’s APAC Communications Director, Sravanthi Dev, if the aforementioned method doesn’t work, you can report the hack immediately via email to [email protected].
You may be able to provide a complete timeline of events, including the time and perhaps the method by which the account was hacked. After then, WhatsApp’s security team will look into your claim in order to find common hacking techniques.
If the user reports the issue quickly, WhatsApp can restore the account swiftly.
4. Enable Two-Step Verification
WhatsApp account hijacking can be avoided by turning on the app’s Two-Step Verification feature.
By inputting a secondary PIN consisting of a six-digit number, this feature will increase the security when someone tries to log in using your WhatsApp account.
In the WhatsApp application’s settings menu, select “Account” to enable this feature. If you enable Two-Rare Verification, in addition to the OTP code, you’ll be prompted to input a security pin every time you log in to your WhatsApp account.
On top of that, users need to be watchful about verifying all of the computers and phones on which they have WhatsApp open. You should immediately log out of WhatsApp if you discover that a device outside of your country has accessed your account.
The One-Time Password is a secret code that should never be revealed to anyone else. Only you should know the One-Time Password (OTP) for your WhatsApp account. This is a hopefully helpful explanation of how to handle being on a WhatsApp that has been tapped.