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Security Loophole Leads to Hacking of Whatsapp Accounts in Israel


A warning was issued by Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) on October 2, 2018, Tuesday, regarding a security flaw in the famous instant messaging application - Whatsapp. The loophole in the security is such that it allows the hackers to take over a user's personal account.


A unit that belongs to Prime Minister's Office, Israel National Cyber Directorate, informed in their statement that several Israelis reported to them about their Whatsapp account being compromised. Thus, in the night of October 2, 2018, Israel National Cyber Directorate issued a warning that there were numerous Whatsapp accounts of Israeli users which were hacked.


It is still not clear whether the hackers used voicemail's security breach in hacking the Israeli Whatsapp accounts on October 2, 2018. The statement also does not provide any details of the scope of hacking, the method by which the hackers attacked, or how much damage the attack has caused to the users. The statement however, mentioned which hacking technique did the hackers adopt earlier, and gave a detailed information to block the same. This possibly gave a clue that the hackers hacked the Whatsapp accounts of the Israeli users through their voicemail.


The technique to attack through voicemail is quite easy, as most people often do not change their default voicemail password that is available on their phone. And as a matter of fact, voicemail messages are also can be used as a verification method for the Whatsapp accounts. The default voicemail passwords are usually 0000 or 1234. The hackers often make phone calls to the users at the time when the possibility is that the user will not pick up the call. The call when gets transferred to their voicemail number they type the most predictable password (i.e. 0000 or 1234), and then from there get the Whatsapp verification code, which further helps them to take over the user's account.


The Israel National Cyber Directorate has suggested some precautionary measures to prevent the user's Whatsapp accounts getting hacked. They say that the users should change their default voicemail password instantaneously, or if they do not use their voicemail services, they should cancel the voicemail entirely. The Cyber Directorate also instructs the users to activate two-stage verification option on Whatsapp, which makes the hacking difficult.

» SPAMfighter News - 10/15/2018

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