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Snooping through WhatsApp is new generation threat

Many of us have doubts about our mobile devices getting hacked and more than that the WhatsApp on smart phone, one can’t easily hack this application but spy on someone else’s WhatsApp messages is not very difficult. There are thousands of open source tutorials and guides available online. Or in simple ways, borrow your friends’ android phone which you want to spy for just one minute.

Go to settings —> About phone —> Status—> Wi-Fi MAC address. Note down the mac address. Keep the phone for few more minutes. Now go to your phone and uninstall WhatsApp. Change your Mac id to your friend’s one by spoofing mac.

Now Download and install WhatsApp on your phone. WhatsApp will send the verification code to your friend’s phone. Verify your downloaded WhatsApp by the verification code sent to your friend’s phone. You have installed exact replica of your friend’s WhatsApp. Now whatever he or she will do, you can track it with your phone. It is useful for parents to keep eye on their children and prevent them from cyber bullying. Do not use it for illegal purpose because hacking is crime. Invading someone’s privacy is punishable offence. It’s not ethical to hack your partner’s account or compromise with privacy. But still for education purpose, I would like to share the probable threats. One can go to your WhatsApp folder in your phone, in that they check database folder and copy all the msgcrypt.db files. (Check for the recent created files). Once they copy those files, they will need to install Python in your system in order to decrypt those files. (This could be really tricky, if you don’t have prior experience or you aren’t into technical). Nontechnical options could be, copy those msgcrypt.db files in your or some new WhatsApp account before activating the application and then once bits activated you could see all previous information.

Even if you attempt this there is no guaranteed success. Someone to compromise your device takes time, whenever you give phone to some known or unknown person you need to be watchful. Always keep your phone password protected, or finger print protected. As we put lock on our door to protect it from thieves, but the robbers are experts in lock braking. That is their expertise as lock maker has his own expertise. Similarly, there are hackers who can barge into your privacy for different reasons because they are well versed in doing so. But as a phone user you should be more smart and alert while giving access to your phone to another person. Hacking your phones is not easy without your own cooperation. In today’s world where sensitive data like banking and account details, social security details, corporate email information and so on is stored on your device, it is only in your best interest to keep that information safe.

Curious friends, partners or family members who want to know about ‘every and anything’ you are doing, will have a field day with your ‘password – unprotected’ device. To protect your privacy and avoid unbelievably embarrassing and awkward scenarios, it’s best to password your device and encourage these friends, partners or family members to simply ask you questions about whatever they want to know. This is important especially if you have children that like to play with your devices. In the process of moving from one game app to another, children can keep your device running without rest till your battery runs down, regardless of the power situation. Also, without a password, a child can easily pick up your device and while looking for their favourite app, mistakenly rearrange, hide or delete sensitive information on your phone.

It is a sudden and unpredicted occurrence. You don’t exactly see it coming. In the case of the theft of your device, it will be better for you if there is a security lock on your device. This is because it gives you some time to inform your bank and other relevant institutions about the theft, before the thief is able to use personal data gotten from your device(s) against you. For some devices like the iPhone, once your device is stolen and it’s password-protected, it’s easier to remotely lock and wipe it. What you need is basic sense and presence of mind to handle your phone smartly to get protected from such threats.

But please do not follow any of those tricks that claim they can hack others WhatsApp account. Even do not follow the material available on Google or any other site. Most of them are trying to fool you by diverting you to their website for some survey work or fake traffic or some kinds of honey trap. They may ask you to provide your social networks or private data but do not provide it any way because they may hack or spam your accounts or may use your data for their personal work. Moreover,  WhatsApp or Facebook like social media networks are too much strong in their data or account security. It’s almost difficult to hack their site because they possess brilliant manpower, capable security or employ hacking professionals. They test the app by their security personnel and hackers before every release. Even if anybody tries to hack their app or site they can identify and patch the vulnerability and can protect it within few hours. What they can’t prevent is you going to jail or face consequences. And my advice to all those app users is, be smarter than your smart phone!

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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