Looks like WhatsApp, one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, is plagued with a nasty bug. If claims are true, the issue exposes your WhatsApp messages history in plain text, meaning anyone can see it.
“So what exactly is the bug? Well, it all started with a Tweet from an Amazon employee Abby Fuller today wherein they said after they popped in their new SIM into a new phone, and logged into WhatsApp, they could see the message history associated with the WhatsApp account of the previous owner of the number.” Source: Piunikaweb .
According to Softpedia News an issue in instant messaging application WhatsApp may provide others with full access to your conversations when replacing phone numbers.
Amazon employee Abby Fuller has reported a potential bug that gained a lot of exposure online lately: when setting up WhatsApp on a new device using a new phone number, the full message archive of the previous owner was restored on the phone.
“Yes it was a new device. No it wasn’t second hand. It was not a second hand SIM. Yes I’m sure they weren’t my messages, or groups that I was added to. Yes they were in plaintext. I am sure it’s my phone number. It was not restored from a backup,” she explained in a follow-up tweet.
Other users who joined the conversation confirmed this happened on their devices as well, also when setting up WhatsApp with a new phone number.
Just a bug?
Questions need to be answered regarding the storing of user messages, especially when these are restored on new devices.
As PiunikaWeb notes, all evidence seems to indicate this is a bug, so it remains to be seen how and if WhatsApp is planning to resolve it.
Ed: dont’ ask me for an opinion on cellphones. I am a Neanderthal who decries cell-phones particularly when they destroy our ability to communicate (even across the dining table) and our ability to spell.