WhatsApp is an important part of people’s daily life today. Imagine that you are sharing some important details with your office team on WhatsApp group and only then some unknown person joins that group. After this, this person gets access to your group information such as group member details and group name and profile photo. Yes it is true, your private chat is being accessed by Google search. This flaw of WhatsApp was corrected in 2019 but now it has surfaced again.
Internet security researcher Rajshekhar Rajahariya has been quoted by Gadget 360 as saying that WhatsApp groups that use links to enter are at risk of being found online once again. By doing this, anyone can enter the private chat of the user.
Your @WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are. WhatsApp Group Chat Invite Links, User Profiles Made Public Again on @Google Again.Story – https://t.co/GK2KrCtm8J#Infosec #privacy #WhatsApp #infosecurity #CyberSecurity #GDPR #DataSecurity #dataprotection pic.twitter.com/7PvLYuM9xD
— Rajshekhar Rajaharia (@rajaharia) January 10, 2021
After enabling Index for WhatsApp Groups, these links can be searched and joined for private groups across the web. This allows the searcher to get the other’s profile photo and phone number. While it is not known when WhatsApp has introduced chat invites on Google to index groups, the report says that there are about 1,500 group invite links in Google search.
Unknown person can hide himself
For the members of the group not to see that unknown person, the unknown person can also hide himself for some time. The biggest drawback in this is that even if the unknown person is removed from the group, their brief entry along with their phone number will still be present in the list.
A similar flaw was spotted by a security researcher in 2019, which was later reported to Facebook. It was fixed at that time. For information, let us tell you that this problem is not only coming with group invite links but also with single user account profile. The URL of people’s profiles can be searched on Google.
This allows an unknown person to access the indexed profile, which contains the user’s phone number and in some cases their phone number. This flaw of WhatsApp has also come to the fore, and it was reported in 2020, after which it was fixed in June 2020.