Monday March 18, 2019
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Whatsapp Security Bug Allows iPhone Users Bypass Security Controls

Apple did not immediately respond to questions on whether a similar fix would be required for the WhatsApp glitch.

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FILE - The WhatsApp icon is seen on a smartphone. VOA

A security bug is allowing users to bypass new privacy controls introduced by Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp on iPhones this month, the service said Wednesday after users posted about the problem on social
media.

The disclosure came as messaging and other applications race to improve security and privacy and as Facebook Inc. is addressing criticism for not safeguarding privacy.

WhatsApp’s new privacy feature allows iPhone users to require Touch ID or Face ID — fingerprint or facial recognition — to open the app, but users were able to bypass those log-in methods by using the iPhone’s “share” function to send files over WhatsApp.

Users can set verification to be required immediately upon log-in, meaning they would need to supply Touch ID or Face ID each time they open WhatsApp, or at intervals of up to an hour, allowing them to toggle between apps on the iPhone for that time period.

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Users can set verification to be required immediately upon log-in. Pixabay

The security system fails when users select any interval option other than “immediately.”

A user named “u/de_X_ter” wrote a Reddit post detailing the problem Tuesday. Reuters verified the bug.

“We are aware of the issue and a fix will be available shortly. In the meantime, we recommend that people set the screen lock option to ‘immediately,’ ” a WhatsApp spokesperson said by email.

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Last month, a user discovered a privacy flaw with Apple’s FaceTime group video chat software, which allowed iPhone users to see and hear others before they accept a video call. Apple rolled out an iOS update to fix the issue.

Apple did not immediately respond to questions on whether a similar fix would be required for the WhatsApp glitch.

Next Story

WhatsApp and NASSCOM To Come Up With Digital Literacy Training To Curb Fake News

"This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,"

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The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges. Pixabay

As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum, which includes real-world anecdote tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and actions that users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and other law enforcement agencies, will be disseminated in multiple regional languages.

“We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said in a statement.

“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added.

The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the “each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect.

These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

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As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
Pixabay

The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.

“The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information,” Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said.

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“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added. Pixabay

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“I would like to urge all the connected citizens who want to join this fight against the spread of fake information, to come and help volunteer towards the cause,” Pamidi added.

Aspiring volunteers can register at www.mykartavya.nasscomfoundation.org

NASSCOM Foundation is the social arm of the industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). (IANS)