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WhatsApp Begins Rolling Out ‘Restrict Group’ Feature For Admins

WhatsApp rolls out 'Restrict Group' feature for admins: Report

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WhatsApp working on fingerprint authentication for chats: Report. Pixabay

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is rolling out its “Restrict Group” for all iOS, Android and Windows Phone users — a feature that gives the group administrator powers to restrict other members from sending text messages, photographs, videos, GIFs, documents or voice messages in case the admin thinks so.

According to WABetaInfo, a popular fan site that tests new WhatsApp features early, you need to update your WhatsApp version to the 2.18.132 Android update in order to remotely receive the activation of the feature.

The “Restrict Group” feature, first spotted in last December, adds “Privacy settings” in the group.

“All participants can normally edit the group description, icon and subject, but finally the administrator can restrict this feature today, preventing no-administrators to modify the group description,” the website said.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

This action can be managed in the Admin Settings, a new option located in Group Info that’s visible to the administrator only.

In Admin Settings, the administrator can restrict who can change the group info.

Administrators can keep sharing media and chatting as normal as they restrict other members.

Once restricted, other members will simply have to read their messages and will not be able to respond.

Also Read: Amid Data Privacy Scandal, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum Quits Facebook

They will have to use the “Message Admin” button to post a message or share media to the group. The message will need to be approved by the administrator before going through to the rest of the group.

In October, reports said administrators on WhatsApp groups will soon be able to choose if other participants can modify the subject of the group, its icon and its description.

With over 1.5 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is available in more than 50 different languages around the world and in 10 Indian languages.  IANS

Next Story

Researchers Reveal Vulnerabilities that Allowed Hackers to Manipulate Images on WhatsApp and Telegram

WhatsApp saves files to external storage automatically, while Telegram does so when the "Save to Gallery" feature is enabled

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Hackers, Images, Whatsapp
The security flaw, dubbed "Media File Jacking", affected WhatsApp for Android by default. Pixabay

If you thought instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram that provide end-to-end encryption give you rock-solid security, think again. Researchers from cyber-security firm Symantec on Monday revealed vulnerabilities that allowed hackers to manipulate the images and audio files you receive on these platforms.

The security flaw, dubbed “Media File Jacking”, affected WhatsApp for Android by default, and Telegram for Android if certain features were enabled, Symantec researchers said in a blog post.

According to the researchers, WhatsApp saves files to external storage automatically, while Telegram does so when the “Save to Gallery” feature is enabled. However, neither apps have any system in place to protect users from a Media File Jacking attack, the researchers from Symantec’s Modern OS Security team explained.

Attackers could exploit this vulnerability to scam victims in various ways.

Hackers, Images, Whatsapp
If you thought instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram that provide end-to-end encryption give you rock-solid security, think again. Pixabay

“If the security flaw is exploited, a malicious attacker could misuse and manipulate sensitive information such as personal photos and videos, corporate documents, invoices, and voice memos,” wrote Software Engineer Alon Gat and Yair Amit, Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Modern OS Security, Symantec.

Giving example of image manipulation, the researchers said a seemingly innocent, but actually malicious, app downloaded by a user could manipulate personal photos in near-real time and without the victim knowing.

The app runs in the background and performs a “Media File Jacking attack” while the victim uses WhatsApp. It monitors for photos received through the app, identifies faces in photos, and replaces them with something else, such as other faces or objects.

“A WhatsApp user may send a family photo to one of their contacts, but what the recipient sees is actually a modified photo. While this attack may seem trivial and just a nuisance, it shows the feasibility of manipulating images on the fly,” said the blog post.

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Using the same vulnerability, the attackers could make payment manipulation, audio message spoofing or spread fake news.

“In one of the most damaging Media File Jacking attacks, a malicious actor can manipulate an invoice sent by a vendor to a customer, to trick the customer into making a payment to an illegitimate account,” Gat and Amit wrote.

“The Media File Jacking threat is especially concerning in light of the common perception that the new generation of IM (instant messaging) apps are immune to content manipulation and privacy risks, thanks to the utilisation of security mechanisms like end-to-end encryption,” they added.

Hackers, Images, Whatsapp
Researchers from cyber-security firm Symantec on Monday revealed vulnerabilities that allowed hackers to manipulate the images and audio files. Pixabay

Reports in May revealed that a bug in WhatsApp’s audio call feature allowed hackers to install spyware onto Android and iOS phones just by calling the target. The spyware was reportedly developed by the Israeli cyber intelligence company NSO Group.

Also Read- Sony Launches its Noice-cancelling Headphones in India

WhatsApp had said it identified and “promptly” fixed the vulnerability that could enable an attacker to insert and execute code on mobile devices. (IANS)