Belgian special services use WhatsApp due to terrorist attacks

    The Belgian publication RTL published interesting information about police actions after a series of terrorist attacks in Brussels that occurred last week. A police representative shared information that as a result of the explosions, special communication channels were broken that should have been involved in order to coordinate the actions of special services in such a situation. Instead, the police used the most suitable means for operational communication - the WhatsApp messenger.

    It is known that using instant messengers in emergency cases, for example, for communication in situations of quick assistance, is highly discouraged even by ordinary users. This is directly indicated, including in Microsoft Skype software. We recently wrote that WhatsApp uses secure end-to-end encryption (for Android), which provides a good level of protection for data sent by users. However, even this property is clearly not enough for use in such situations.

    Below are the strengths and weaknesses of WhatsApp security compared to Skype and Telegram ( EFF data ).

    Fig. WhatsApp Security Mechanisms. There is no checkmark on the second option due to the lack of end-to-end encryption support for iOS.

    Fig. Example with Skype, which decrypts the data on the server side of

    Fig. Security messenger Telegram. In secret chat mode, it provides the same high level of security as Signal, which we wrote about in a previous post.

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