WhatsApp is the world’s leading messenger—with two billion users sending 100 billion messages each day, no other platform comes close. WhatsApp built its userbase by offering a secure alternative to SMS, popularizing the availability of end-to-end encryption. On the surface, security remains central to the WhatsApp proposition. “Privacy and security are in our DNA,” it says. But that’s a mantle that’s now slipping. Delve beneath those marketing messages, though, and WhatsApp is not as secure as you might think.
Nowhere is this more evident than for new iPhone 12 users right now. When you come to move your WhatsApp account from your old device to your new one, you’ll be directed to use WhatsApp’s iCloud backup option to transfer your message history, media and settings. But those backups are not protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption. It’s a serious privacy and security vulnerability—one that rivals iMessage and Signal have