What is WhatsApp’s new End-to-End Encrpytion?
WhatsApp in its last update took out a very interesting feature called end-to-end encryption. Though, this has baffled a lot of people what the heck does it exactly do. Worry not peeps, we are here to help you out. End-to-end encryption ensures that a user’s messages, videos, photos sent over WhatsApp can’t be read by anyone else — not WhatsApp, not cyber-criminals, not law-enforcement agencies. Even group chats will be encrypted.
WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum announced the update on his Facebook page, stating that the company has been working on the feature for the last two years.
Koum wrote, “We’ve been working for the past two years to give people better security over their conversations on WhatsApp… People deserve security. It makes it possible for us to connect with our loved ones. It gives us the confidence to speak our minds. It allows us to communicate sensitive information with colleagues, friends, and others. We’re glad to do our part in keeping people’s information out of the hands of hackers and cyber-criminals.”
The calls you make from WhatsApp are also encrypted, so you do not have to worry about anybody listening in. Now in order for this to work, both parties have to have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on their devices.
WhatsApp is using “The Signal Protocol”, designed by Open Whisper Systems, for its encryption.
In its White Paper, explaining the technical details of the end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp says that “once the session is established, clients do not need to rebuild a new session with each other until the existing session state is lost through an external event such as an app reinstall or device change.”
WhatsApp has even given a way to verify if the chat is encrypted or not. If you friend is nearby take his phone, open your chat and tap on verify. Then take your phone do the same, with one extra step, tap on scan QR code and once you scan the QR code on your friends device, a green tick will show. If it does then the chat encryption is working, if not, a red alert pops up. So, make sure you are running the latest version of WhatsApp on your device.