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WhatsApp,Telegram And Others Can Be Hacked By Cyber Hackers: Symantec Reports

By Nancy Agarwal on July 16, 2019

In present, Symantec describes how easily media files of applications like WhatsApp and Telegram can be altered by "Cyber attackers". Although these applications are known for their high message encryption at the time of transmission, they are not efficient in safeguarding all files. After coming of these applications to phone handset, the files of respective apps can be effortlessly stolen or modified by hackers.

According to the researcher, this attack is named as "Media File Jacking". In this attack, a hacker seeks to hack media files of WhatsApp and telegram like app through external storage access. They could change very sensitive data like photos, videos, messages of users. 

Also, Read | Over 2000 Malicious Apps On Google's PlayStore: Says New Research

Suppose a user downloads the malicious app and he receives an image, then the hacker can manipulate that image and receiver will actually never come to know about it. They can also alter the multimedia messages. On Android, this is a known issue for many times yet it is a trade-off between privacy and accessibility for application. Because the widely used setting of external storage, make the application more handy and compatible for the user, allowing data, photos and other documents to move more freely. But that comes with a cost: last year, researchers pointed out similar issues.

Beware of using Storage: Internal and External

As we all know, social media android apps provide us with two choices to put one’s data on the device: internal storage where one’s data is safe and isolated by OS’s sandbox and external storage, where data is not that safe and can move between apps. Mostly, the external storage is preferred as it makes transmission and access smoother. However, the external storage setup works fine. But through this setup hackers can get an important foothold.

To highlight, this is a feature, not a bug that the developer has the ability to save the required data to external storage. Actually, this feature is a logical choice selected. Yet there is no harm when one wishes to share some pictures, the camera writes it to external storage, as a result, it becomes easy for messenger application to take it from there. Android’s sandboxing of internal storage is like boon whereas user uses external storage sometimes when they really should not. 


Until now, this attack has not been well addressed and documented. For the information, the analysis of the majority of apps Check Point suspects to be prone to this attack. In various ways, hackers can scam users to vulnerable conditions. So, one should keep track of storage usage. 

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