However when two concerning adults enter a private chat, the "mods" monitor your conversations.
Would-be snoopers don’t actually have to be Whats App users to exploit the bug.
All you have to do to retrieve the online status of any telephone number is to add it to contacts and open a chat window, without alerting the phone number owner or asking for his or her permission.
Zweerink explains that he released the tool on 7 February to visualize the following properties of any phone number that uses Whats App: Users can edit who sees the options “last seen”, “profile photo” and “status”, setting the options to “Everyone”, “My Contacts” or “Nobody”.
You would think that setting all three options to “Nobody” would keep you pretty private, but it actually doesn’t stop the following “online” message from showing up in Whats App: That “online” status message is actually a subscription service, Zweerink says, and it’s not limited to one person; in fact, he says, a snooper could try to subscribe to any and all Whats App users, and “Whats App should just happily return this information.” (Though his tool couldn’t handle the load, he notes.) That’s a lot of blown privacy, Zweerink says (all sic): Some random person could just try to subscribe to all Whats App users and retrieve their online/offline status.
Anyways, I’m enjoying it so far (when I have the time for it) Give it a try! I don’t really get why you’d monitor private messages so closely —- especially if the parties are “of age”. I’m just saying that I’m 31 yrs old, and I feel I should have the right to speak to anyone however I’d like to.
It also seems to be really safe and the team does what it can to keep it that way! :) I get it’s for safety, but I’m not sure how this keeps me safe.
Follow @Lisa Vaas Follow @Naked Security UPDATE 18 February: A spokesperson for Whats App says that this is a “non-story”.
It’s not a flaw, the company says; it’s by design: "Last seen" and "online" are different.
I don’t want to retrieve a coupon on some drug that makes me sleep better, definitely not from any unknown party!