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German Company Hit By Supply Chain Attack, Only Few Device Affected

Gigaset, a German device maker, was recently hit with a supply chain attack, the hackers breached a minimum of one company server to attach the malware. Earlier known as Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices, Gigaset is Germany based MNC. The company holds expertise in communication technology area, it also manufactures DECT telephones. Gigaset had around 800 employees, had operations across 70 countries and a revenue of 280 Million euros in the year 2018. 

The attack happened earlier this month, the malware was deployed in the android devices of the German company. According to experts, various users reported cases of malware infections, complaining the devices were attacked with adwares that showed unwanted and intrusive ads. Most of the users reported their complaints on Google support forums. A German website published a list of these package names (unwanted popups) which were installed on the android devices. 

Earlier complaints from the users are suggesting that data might've also been stolen from these devices. The foremost issue that these users faced was SMS texting and sending Whatsapp messages, the latter suspended few accounts on suspicion of malicious activity. The company has confirmed about the breach and said that the only the users who installed latest firmware updates from the infected devices were affected. The company is already set on providing immediate solutions to the affected customers. "It is also important to mention at this point that, according to current knowledge, the incident only affects older devices," said the company. 

The company during its routine investigation found that few of the old devices had malware problems. It was further confirmed by the customer complaints. Gigaset says it has taken the issue very seriously and is working continuously to provide short term solution to its customers. "In doing so, we are working closely with IT forensic experts and the relevant authorities. We will inform the affected users as quickly as possible and provide information on how to resolve the problem. We expect to be able to provide further information and a solution within 48 hours," said Gigaset.

Fake Netflix App Spreads Malware via WhatsApp Messages

 

Researchers have discovered malware camouflaged as a Netflix application, prowling on the Google Play store, spread through WhatsApp messages. As per a Check Point Research analysis released on Wednesday, the malware took on the appearance of an application called "FlixOnline," which publicized by the means of WhatsApp messages promising "2 Months of Netflix Premium Free Anywhere in the World for 60 days." But once installed, the malware begins stealing information and credentials.

The malware was intended to monitor incoming WhatsApp messages and automatically react to any that the victims get, with the content of the response crafted by the adversaries. The reactions attempted to bait others with the proposal of a free Netflix service, and contained links to a phony Netflix site that phished for credentials and credit card information, analysts said. 

“The app turned out to be a fake service that claims to allow users to view Netflix content from around the world on their mobiles,” according to the analysis. “However, instead of allowing the mobile user to view Netflix content, the application is actually designed to monitor a user’s WhatsApp notifications, sending automatic replies to a user’s incoming messages using content that it receives from a remote server.” Once you install the FlixOnline application from the Play Store, it asks for three sorts of authorizations: screen overlay, battery optimization ignore, and notification. Researchers from Check Point noticed that overlay is utilized by malware to make counterfeit logins and steal client credentials by making counterfeit windows on top of existing applications. 

The malware was additionally able to self-propagate, sending messages to client's WhatsApp contacts and groups with links to the phony application. With that in mind, the computerized messages read, “2 Months of Netflix Premium Free at no cost For REASON OF QUARANTINE (CORONA VIRUS)* Get 2 Months of Netflix Premium Free anywhere in the world for 60 days. Get it now HERE [Bitly link].”

“The malware’s technique is fairly new and innovative,” Aviran Hazum, manager of Mobile Intelligence at Check Point, said in the analysis. “The technique here is to hijack the connection to WhatsApp by capturing notifications, along with the ability to take predefined actions, like ‘dismiss’ or ‘reply’ via the Notification Manager. The fact that the malware was able to be disguised so easily and ultimately bypass Play Store’s protections raises some serious red flags.”

Russian expert predicts end of WhatsApp - Users switching to Telegram

Over the past weeks, WhatsApp messenger has started losing millions of users. They migrate to Telegram. In mid-January, almost 25 million people came running to Telegram in just three days. Some WhatsApp fans went to another social network - Signal. It gained 7.5 million users in two days.

The reasons for the outflow from WhatsApp are related to the privacy policy, which allows the developer to share user data with Facebook, explained the coordinator of the Center for Secure Internet, Urvan Parfentiev. In particular, according to him, the location and phone numbers will become transparent.

Information and computer security specialist, programmer, blogger Sergey Vakulin said that in addition to the privacy policy, there are other reasons.

"First reason is the privacy policy. The second is functionality. The third reason is anonymization. People who care about their security and privacy of correspondence are less likely to trust WhatsApp," said he.

According to Mr. Vakulin, the advantage of Telegram relative to many social networks is the lack of censorship.

There are those who like to watch something cruel, a murder. But on the social network VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, it is forbidden to do this. And on Telegram, you can create a channel that will not be censored", explained the blogger.

After the outflow of users, WhatsApp launched a powerful awareness-raising campaign and abandoned the previously announced measures. Therefore, "we cannot talk about the death of WhatsApp", stressed Parfentiev.

However, Vakulin believes otherwise.

"Most likely, we will see the death of WhatsApp. The old social networks and apps don't have enough functionality. A person needs to learn something new in the social network. Therefore, we are replacing it with a new one," commented he.

At the moment, dozens of messengers are known. The most popular in Russia are the following: in the first place is WhatsApp, which in 2020 increased by five percent compared to 2019; in second place is Viber, followed by Skype. The fourth place is taken by Telegram, which grew by 10 percent. Facebook closes the top five (plus 6 percent).

Earlier, E Hacking News conducted an interview with a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India Vijayashankar Na (Mr. Naavi) and he shared with us his opinion on the new privacy policy of WhatsApp messenger and how it impacts the users.

Almost 80% Of Indians Consider Moving To Alternatives After “Take It or Leave It Policy” WhatsApp

 

WhatsApp, the most popular messaging platform is suffering from the biggest storm with its users because of its new set of policies, although WhatsApp (organization) has stalled its upcoming terms and conditions until May. Even in India, WhatsApp users are jumping on alternatives including Telegram and signal messaging platforms. 

As well as the Indian government has strongly recommended Facebook-owned platform to re-consider upcoming policies. 

India alone comprises a large number of WhatsApp's userbase. Recently in response to cyberMedia Analysis (CMR) research, 79% of WhatsApp users are only in eight cities of India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, and Ahmedabad. Out of this huge percentage, 28% of people are reconsidering to depart the platform after the execution of its ‘take it or depart it coverage’ in Might 2021. 

Further, 51% of users have stated that they are reconsidering whether they should use this platform or not and would choose Telegram as its alternative or other messaging apps whereas 28% of respondents stated that they are not going to proceed with WhatsApp in any respect. 

In new terms and conditions of WhatsApp, it will share credentials of people with its parent company ‘Facebook’. Although the company has stated that it will not affect your private chat lives with your family and friends in any approach. The larger concern is that there is no specific technique that will decide this out. The new policies are not applied on the European market due to its (EU’s) stern privateness pointers that WhatsApp has obeyed to adjust. 

The government of India has explicitly highlighted in its response to WhatsApp, “the platform can’t unilaterally put in such coverage in its greatest market and that WhatsApp is obliged to respect the privateness of its largest person base”. 

“What’s outstanding is, most Indians (76%) had been conscious of the coverage,” Prabhu Ram, Head, Trade Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR instructed Monetary Categorical On-line. 

“WhatsApp has been the default messaging software for shoppers, much more than the conventional SMS. It was free, it was intimate, and it was one thing we owned. However now due to this take it or depart its coverage, the shoppers have gotten conscious that it was not free, in any case.” He added.

'Android Worm' Malware is Spreading Via WhatsApp User Contact List

 

Security expert Lucas Stefanko unearthed the malware known as ‘Android Worm’. Threat actors are using this malware as a weapon to send malicious messages to WhatsApp users and extract critical information or shutting their accounts entirely. ‘Android Worm’ make an entrance into a user phone as a disguised message and then corrupts the victim’s contact list without the victim being aware of it.

Lucas Stefanko shared a video detailing the android worm malware – “Android WhatsApp Worm? Malware spreads via victim’s WhatsApp by automatically replying to any received WhatsApp message notification with a link to malicious Huawei Mobile app. The message is sent only once per hour to the same contact. It looks to be adware or subscription scam”.

The malware enters a user phone via message and then uploads adware onto a users’ device and expands by sending WhatsApp messages to the victim’s contact list and keeping the victim in a dark. As per the reports of The Sun, initially, the victim gets a message from a contact or an anonymous number by asking the him to download a link to win a free smartphone. Then after tapping on the link, the victim will be taken into the confidence that a Huawei mobile application is being downloaded into the victim’s device, and to make the message trustworthy, a fake Google page will also be shown. Then, once the victim taps on the install button the victim will end up installing the Android worm into his/her device. 

After that, every hour the malicious link will be further sent to some of the user’s contact list and the user will not know if the victim doesn’t check his/her device after every frequent interval. According to the ESET blog “this malware could possibly distribute more dangerous threats since the message text and link to the malicious app are received from the attacker’s server. It could simply distribute banking trojans, ransomware or spyware”.

WhatsApp Clients Resort to Other Messaging Platforms

 

WhatsApp has told its two billion clients they should permit it to share information with its parent organization Facebook if they wish to keep utilizing it. All WhatsApp clients would not be able to proceed with the service except if they accept the new terms by 8 February. The stage said the update will empower it to offer features, for example, shopping and payments. 

Message platforms Signal and Telegram have both seen a gigantic surge in downloads around the world over after a questionable update to WhatsApp's terms and conditions. 

As per information from analytics firm Sensor Tower, Signal was downloaded all around the world multiple times the week before WhatsApp declared the change on 4 January and 8.8 million times the week after. This included big surges in India, where downloads went from 12,000 to 2.7 million, the UK from 7,400 to 191,000, and the US from 63,000 to 1.1 million. In a progression of tweets, Signal said a few people were detailing issues with creating groups and postponements to verification codes showing up in light of the fast development but that it was addressing the issues. 

Telegram has proved to be even more popular, with downloads booming all around the world from 6.5 million for the week starting 28 December to 11 million over the next week. In the UK, downloads went from 47,000 to 101,000. Furthermore, in the US they went from 272,000 to 671,000. During the same period, WhatsApp's worldwide downloads shrank from 11.3 million to 9.2 million. 

One industry watcher said he didn't think this fundamentally spoke to a major issue for WhatsApp, which has been downloaded 5.6 billion times since its launch in 2014. 

"It will be hard for opponents to break user habits, and WhatsApp will keep on being one of the world's most popular and broadly utilized messaging platforms," said Craig Chapple, mobile insights strategist at Sensor Tower. 

WhatsApp reassured its clients that it doesn't keep logs of every individual who is messaging, it can't see your shared location, it doesn't share your contacts to Facebook, and that groups can stay private. It likewise exhorts clients that they actually have the choice to set messages to disappear and that they can't download their information. WhatsApp's clarification may figure out how to reassure a few clients that the privacy changes aren't as troubling as first dreaded, yet for other people, it might have come past the point of no return.

Learn how to Hide your WhatsApp Profile Picture and Why ?

 

The latest statistics of the messaging app usage have shown that WhatsApp has 2.0 billion users worldwide, which doesn't come as a surprise given the tremendous popularity and wide-acceptance of the messaging platform. 

Moreover, it is interesting to note that now businesses around the world have also integrated WhatsApp communication for purely work-related purposes, wherein people connect with one another because they are working in the same organization. 

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can trust every person in their organization or that they do. Sometimes what happens is that one never wishes to show his or her display picture to the people whom they rarely know but are required to communicate with them through WhatsApp because of their professional work. 

Now, everyone doesn’t know how to hide their profile picture from unknown users, hence everyone who has their number or with whom they had a little dialogue on WhatsApp is able to see their profile picture and can also potentially take a screenshot of the same. Have you been in one such situation? If yes, we are here to educate you regarding the same. Do you know WhatsApp provides its users with very neat privacy features which allow us to save our privacy from non-friendly contacts, while letting your friends see your profile picture, at the same time? 

How to do it? 


To access the privacy features of WhatsApp in its entirety, follow the steps given below. 

First Open WhatsApp and go to ‘Settings’. 

Now click on ‘Account’ and then click on ‘Privacy’. 

Then, tap on Profile Photo.  

Now you must be able to see that the default setting here allows 3 options to choose first, “Everyone”, second, “My Contact’’ and third, “No One’’. 

So now what you have to do just select the second option “My Contact’’, this privacy feature will only allow your saved contact number to see your profile picture, while others will be seeing a grey avatar on your profile, instead of the picture you had put on display. And, if you wish to not reveal your profile picture to anyone then you can select the third option “Nobody”. This will hide your picture from everyone on the messaging app. 

To your dismay, unfortunately, currently, there is no option that will allow you to hide your profile picture from a particular bunch of users like it does for story privacy settings.

WhatsApp's 'disappearing messages' now available for Indian users; here's how you can enable disappearing messages on your WhatsApp

 The much popular messaging application earlier announced that they will be rolling out a new 'Disappearing Messages' feature, where sent messages disappear after seven days around this month. Now, this particular feature is available for Indian users to avail on their smartphones.

The new feature is launched for Android, iPhone, KaiOS, Web, and Desktop supporting WhatsApp and made available to all 2 Billion of their users. 

There are still some key points you should know about the feature. Though the feature is for both individual and group chats, only admins can turn on the disappearing feature in groups otherwise your messages won't disappear even though your feature is 'ON'. The feature needs to be switched on for individual chats and if the disappearing message is forwarded to a user with the disappearing message off, then the texts won't go from their chat after seven days.

One should also be wary before turning on the disappearing message feature as the content of disappearing messages like media would disappear from the chatbox but if auto-downloaded to phone or saved in backup, it will remain there so. Also, people can take pictures or screenshots of the message.

As said before the messages will vanish after seven days but it won't apply to your past texts and media.

"This setting won’t affect messages you previously sent or received in the chat," WhatsApp said on its help page. 

Here's how you can enable disappearing messages on your WhatsApp:

  •  On Android and iOS phones, tap on the contact name in your chatbox.

  •  Along with other info, there will be an option of 'Disappearing messages'.
  • Tap on the 'Disappearing messages' option and in the next window turn the option 'ON'.
  • For turning the feature off, follow the same steps, and instead of 'ON', tap on the 'OFF' option.

The feature does not provide an option for reducing or increasing the time limit for the message to vanish, the period will remain seven days.

WhatsApp Reveals Six Bugs On Its Security Advisory Website


The Social Messaging app WhatsApp has been open about its bugs and vulnerabilities recently. To be vocal about the issue, the company has set up a dedicated website that will work as a security advisory and inform users about the latest developments on issues and bugs in WhatsApp. Owned by social media giant Facebook, WhatsApp, with a current user base of around 2 million, has set up the website as an initiative to keep the community informed about security and be more transparent with its users.


The dedicated website is not limited to WhatsApp users but open to the entire cybersecurity community. The move comes as a response to the criticisms that WhatsApp faced over its handling of security issues. The dedicated platform will give users detailed reports of security updates related to WhatsApp, along with CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) details. The updates will help cybersecurity experts to know the effect of these bugs and vulnerabilities.

WhatsApp reported six security bugs that it had recently discovered. The company had released security patches for these six bugs before the hackers could exploit them. Few of the bugs could be remotely launched. CVE-2020-1890, an android based WhatsApp bug, sent the recipients sticker, which contained malicious codes. The bug could be deployed without user interaction. Few bugs, however, required user interaction and couldn't be launched remotely. CVE-2019-11928 bug became active when a desktop WhatsApp user clicked any location link, allowing cross-site scripting. WhatsApp says that it will keep the community updated about the latest developments through its advisory platform, trying to release security patches as soon as possible.

According to reports, five of the six bugs were patched on the same day; however, the last bug took quite some time. "We are very committed to transparency, and this resource is intended to help the broader technology community benefit from the latest advances in our security efforts. We strongly encourage all users to ensure they keep their WhatsApp up-to-date from their respective app stores and update their mobile operating systems whenever updates are available," says WhatsApp.

WhatsApp to Allow Users to Sync Chat Between iOS and Android


When switching devices from Android to iOS or the other way round, users were not able to retain the chat histories despite the backup option as WhatsApp didn’t provide a means to synchronize chat histories between the two platforms. Although, for the iOS users the chat histories are backed up on the iCloud and similarly, for Android, Google’s cloud gets the work done as long as the platform remains unchanged, having a method to drag the backup to a new platform would add a lot more convenience to both the universes.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been working on a new feature aiming to resolve the issue pertaining to the syncing of chats across platforms; the company is planning to come up with a functionality that will allow users to use a single phone number, i.e., one account on multiple devices, as per the sources.

Reports suggest that WhatsApp could allow users to use a single account on four different devices simultaneously. However, as per the idea revolving around this new feature, a Wi-Fi facility will become a must for users as a lot of data will be required for the uploading and downloading of all the multimedia along with the messages, while syncing the chat histories between devices.

Notably, the development came in the wake of users' complaints and demand regarding being able to use one account on multiple devices. Once WhatsApp will securely copy the chat history to the other device, users will finally be able to use their account from it. During the process, the encryption keys will be changed and all active chats will be notified about the same.

Referencing from the report by WABetainfo, “When the user wants to use WhatsApp on a second device, there is the need to copy the chat history. In this case, WhatsApp always requires a Wi-Fi connection, because it may use a large amount of your data plan,”

“Note that any message will be delivered to all your family devices, so your chat history will be always synced across platforms, and when you use or remove a device, your encryption key changes,”

“In this case, WhatsApp Desktop was used for the test, but it will work on a second mobile device too, but it’s really possible that WhatsApp will allow mobile devices to be connected to your main device later than WhatsApp Desktop. Note that, using this feature, an Internet connection on your device will no longer be needed to use WhatsApp Desktop,” read the report. 

IM Platforms Increasingly Used by Threat Actors in Place of Dark Web Marketplaces


Researchers at IntSight have discovered that IM platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord, IRC, and Jabber are being used by cybercriminals for advertising and putting their goods and services on sale. One of the major reason as to why cybercriminals are switching to these IM platforms from the conventional ones is 'law enforcement practices'; law enforcement operations have been targeting online darknet markets one after another. Earlier in 2017, the world's largest dark web market, AlphaBay was taken offline, sending darknet users into chaos. Immediately after, the cyberspace witnesses the shut down of Hansa, another major darknet market. As more and more major dark web markets went offline due to the law enforcement penetrations, cybercriminals are wisely migrating to new platforms.

Although threat actors are loving IM platforms, the regular cybercrime sources such as dark web markets, credit card shops, and forums are still witnessing their web usual traffic. These platforms have more advantages such as chatbots, fewer rules, and automated replies due to their core nature, unlike IM platforms that are majorly meant for communication.

While giving insights, Etay Maor, IntSights CSO, said, "Telegram appears to be experiencing the most growth, with more than 56,800 Telegram invite links shared across cybercrime forums and over 223,000 general mentions of the application across forums. Telegram is also the platform most often discussed in foreign language forums."

"Financial threat actors and fraudsters exchange stolen carding information, selling or trading all kinds of credit card dumps, and publishing methods or techniques relevant for the fraud community. In addition, there is also a trade of physical items stolen or counterfeited from organizations in the retail industry.” He added.

“While the data itself is fully encrypted and law enforcement needs sophisticated algorithms in order to decrypt it, some countries have authorized law enforcement agencies to access the private information of their citizens if sanctioned by courts or other judicial authorities – including information that lives in IM platforms. Threat actors are worried about the cooperation between technology companies and law enforcement agencies, especially in the United States.” Maor further explained.

WhatsApp Scam: Hackers stealing Verification Codes from Users


WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform messaging app owned by Facebook is the most popular messaging application in the world and recently it's usage increased by 40% amid lock-down. But with it's rising popularity, the users are facing security threats as a new scam has emerged on the Facebook-owned messenger that tries to steal the user's verification code.

The scammers pose as WhatsApp's official account and ask the user to verify his/her identity by providing the six-digit verification code to the account.

This verification code is sent to the user via SMS in order to register their device.

WABetaInfo, a blog that tracks WhatsApp features shared the scam in a tweet. Dario Navarro, a Twitter user asked WABetaInfo that he got such a message and if he should reply, in response the feature tracker responded with “WhatsApp never asks your data or verification codes,”.


According to the message sent to Navarro, the spammer sends the message posing as WhatsApp (with WhatsApp's logo as a profile picture) and in a message written in Spanish ask him to verify his identity and account number by providing the six-digit verification code which the spammer could use to hack the account.

WhatsApp will never ask for your personal details or verification code

WhatsApp clearly states in their FAQs section not to share the verification code, “If someone is trying to take over your account, they need the SMS verification code sent to your phone number to do so. Without this code, any user attempting to verify your number can't complete the verification process and use your phone number on WhatsApp,” the company says.

Any information by the company is either published on their blog or tweeted on their official account. And even if WhatsApp does message you ( a rare phenomenon) it would be from an account with a green tick next to it.

If you get a verification SMS, it means someone is trying to log in to your account, this could be because someone entered the wrong phone number or if someone is trying to hack your account. So, if someone hacks your account, you can simply verify your phone number and the other user will be logged out.

Israeli Security Company NSO Pretends to Be Facebook


As per several reports, Facebook was imitated by an Israeli security company that is known as the “NSO Group” to get the targets to install their “phone-hacking software”.

Per sources, a Facebook-like doppelganger domain was engineered to distribute the NSO’s “Pegasus” hacking contrivance. Allegedly, serves within the boundaries of the USA were employed for the spreading of it.

The Pegasus, as mentioned in reports, if installed once, can have access to text messages, device microphone, and camera as well as other user data on a device along with the GPS location tracking.

NSO has denied this but it still happens to be in a legal standoff with Facebook, which contends that NSO on purpose distributed its software on WhatsApp that led to the exploitation of countless devices. Another allegation on NSO is about having delivered the software to spy on journalist Jamal Khashoggi before his killing, to the government of Saudi Arabia, citing sources.

Facebook also claimed that NSO was also behind the operation of the spyware to which NSO appealed to the court to dismiss the case insisting that sovereign governments are the ones who use the spyware.

Per sources, NSO’s ex-employee, allegedly, furnished details of a sever which was fabricated to spread the spyware by deceiving targets into clicking on links. The server was connected with numerous internet addresses which happened to include the one that pretended to be Facebook’s. And Facebook had to buy it to stop the abuse of it.

As per reports, package tracking links from FedEx and other links for unsubscribing from emails were also employed on other such domains.

NSO still stand their ground about never using the software, themselves. In fact they are pretty proud of their contribution to fighting crime and terrorism, mention sources.

Security researchers say that it’s almost impossible for one of the servers to have helped in the distribution of the software to be within the borders of the USA. Additionally, reports mention, NSO maintains that its products could not be employed to conduct cyber-surveillance within the United States of America.

Facebook still holds that NSO is to blame for cyber-attacks. And NSO maintains that they don’t use their own software.

With Now 400 Million Monthly Active Users Telegram Announces Video Calling Service



Messaging application Telegram announces the development of a group video calling service along with the news that it has now reached 400 million monthly active users, further doubling its user base in two years.

The messaging app says that this version is going to offer both security and ease of use. Be that as it may, this claim is considered as a "not-so-subtle' swipe at user-friendly Zoom, which has been hit by various security scandals as of late.

Critics brought up the issue that the service's claims about offering 'end-to-end' encryption were bogus, and that it's default privacy settings made it simple for the uninvited users to take advantage of this flaw and tap into video calls.

That being said Telegram has likewise confronted a lot of criticism also from the security community to some degree since its end-to-end encryption isn't enabled by default. Telegram hit the 400 million user milestone a year after reaching 300 million users.

Which implies that it's doubled its user base since 2018 when it had 200 million monthly active clients. The company said it's seeing at least 1.5 million new users sign into their service consistently, and that it is the most downloaded social networking application in more than 20 nations.

However, the number one spot for the most active users is still taken up by WhatsApp which boasted 2 billion users as of February this year. Nonetheless, apart from its monthly active user announcement, the messaging app likewise detailed an assortment of new features.

Following this user would now be able to add 'educational snippets' to quizzes created on the service, there's another directory present to peruse the 20,000 stickers accessible on the app, and the company is additionally adding new features to its macOS client.

The users can access more details of the new features on Telegram’s blog.

Facebook's Messenger''s Latest Update Supports 50 Participants In a Video Chat Room!


During these ungodly hours of the pandemic with everyone stuck at home and yearning for some one-on-one time with friends and family stuck elsewhere, Facebook has come through like a Knight in shining armor.

It has booted up Messenger and WhatsApp with fresh and much-needed video-calling features in light of the obvious hike in the “need” for video-calls via social media.

In the areas that are affected to the greatest degrees by Coronavirus, researchers have seen an acute escalation in the usage of Messenger and its video calling feature, as much as double the earlier rate.

With the latest WhatsApp update increasing the number of participants in its video/audio calls, Messenger has made available an update that could let users add up to 50 people in the Messenger Rooms.

Turns out that these fresh features were always on the list of updates but they were rolled out to the users a little earlier than planned because of the pandemic and lock-downs.

This update is scheduled to start reaching people soon and would eventually reach all the users but it is bound to take time.

Per sources, Facebook had been working towards preventing ‘unrequired’ and ‘unneeded’ guests from popping in the chats, as well.

There is no dearth of applications willing to help users get through these tough times by connecting virtually with their loved ones. Zoom, another app that has seen crazy growth in the number of its active users to an astonishing 300 Million.

Houseparty is another one that hit the download charts hard when the news of the lock-down first surfaced everywhere in March.

Much like in the formerly mentioned app, until the Messenger Room is ‘open’, guests can drop in and out per their wishes in the group video chats.


With a very thoughtful idea, Facebook had reportedly wanted to create a realistic atmosphere for the video chat users where people could “bump into each other”.

In fact, rumor has it that Facebook is planning to add the group video chat room feature to WhatsApp and Instagram as well but there is no evidence as to when.

The chat rooms that are open to the public shall be listed at the top of the feed. The person creating the chat room would have control over the privacy of the room, about sending the invitations to people who aren’t on Facebook, who gets added and blocking unwanted participants. Participants could also change their backgrounds in real time, mention sources.

Per reports, the feature was first tested in Argentina and Poland where Messenger is supposed to be used the most. The results showed that up to 20 participants could be added at once, but the number is would increase to 50 according to Facebook.

Having uninvited participants show up in their chat rooms has only caused inconvenience to the users especially in the case of Zoom. Facebook has definitely learned from that.

The chats wouldn’t be encrypted end-to-end at least at the beginning of the launching but it’s surely on the to-do list. Monitoring and listening in on the video calls, says Facebook, is absolutely out of question.

The tech giant has also promised that it will keep working towards making Facebook better in every way possible by collecting data from the users about the overall experience, mention sources.

Premium features are being made available for free by the Microsoft teams for some of their apps owing to the Coronavirus outbreak, per sources.

Per reports, usually, the most whopping product launches of Facebook are done via the blog post by Mark Zuckerberg which in this case was used to announce the Messenger Room’s latest update.

To know about the latest feature update of WhatsApp check out the following link:
WhatsApp's Latest Feature Lets You Add More People To Video Calls!

Facebook Makes Its Largest Bet on the Developing Market; Invests $5.7 Billion in Indian Internet Giant Jio


“The country is in the middle of a major digital transformation, and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online. With communities around the world in lockdown, many of these entrepreneurs need digital tools they can rely on to find and communicate with customers and grow their businesses.”

This is what Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said in a post to his Facebook page on the occasion of the social media giant making its biggest single investment by putting $5.7 billion into Jio Platforms of India on Tuesday.

Adding later on that the move indicates its 'commitment' to India, as approximately more than 388 million people in India have been in a solid connection with the internet service over the past four years via Jio.

While numerous businesses have been harmed by the aftermath from the Covid-19 pandemic, huge technology companies are positioned to profit over the long haul as more people resort to their services while keeping indoors.

Facebook is thusly making preparations to move ahead with vital and strategic investments at a very 'fragile' time in the global economy.

David Fischer, Facebook's chief revenue official, and Ajit Mohan, Facebook's managing director in India, in a blog-entry by-lined by the former said that “One focus of our collaboration with Jio will be creating new ways for people and businesses to operate more effectively in the growing digital economy. For instance, by bringing together JioMart, Jio’s small business initiative, with the power of WhatsApp, we can enable people to connect with businesses, shop, and ultimately purchase products in a seamless mobile experience.”

With more than 400 million Indian citizens utilizing WhatsApp and more than 300 million people utilizing the company's core social network, therefore Facebook sees a lot of chance with Jio.

Apart from this, last week India's Economic Times revealed that Facebook and Reliance were intending to use WhatsApp and Jio administrations to make a WeChat-style "super-app" for India.

Tencent's WeChat has enormous penetration in China, with in excess of a billion users and numerous independent businesses utilizing it for payments, promotion, and communication. Yet, it is to be noticed this isn't Facebook's first swoop into the Indian market.

Quite a long while ago, it attempted to offer free internet connectivity to Indian users in a program called Free Basics. Yet, that initiative hit a lot of obstacles until it was ultimately banned in the nation by the telecom regulator TRAI, in 2016.

What's more, is that the regulators concluded that businesses couldn't offer free internet services that supported only a few companies over the others. Facebook has been at a disagreement with the Indian government over WhatsApp for quite some time recently.

The government had demanded that WhatsApp change its encryption to trace messages back to their source, which WhatsApp refused to comply with. Simultaneously, regulators have over and over again thwarted WhatsApp's request to offer a payments service to its Indian users.

Here are some of the reaction tweets by people on the Jio-Facebook collab.







WhatsApp's New Feature Lets You Add More People To Group Video Calls!


Finally! The days of whining about the limited number of participants you could add to WhatsApp’s group video and audio calls are OVER! Praise digital advancement, because the limit has been increased from 4 to 8 participants.

For people stuck far away from their families and in times that strictly demand social distancing, video calling applications contribute a lot in keeping us all sane by helping us feel close to our loved ones.

People have often found the number of participants in the group video/audio calls a major limitation of the otherwise significantly efficient WhatsApp.

Hence when WhatsApp, taking into account the terrific rise in the usage of Video Calling applications, at long last has decided to increase the number of contacts you can add to a group video/audio call, we can’t help but be happy.

The new feature would be exclusively available for the users of Android and iOS beta. The installation of the 2.20.50.25 update for the iOS beta users and the 2.20.133 beta update for the Android users is a prerequisite for the accessibility of the feature.

From One Billion daily active WhatsApp users and 400 Million out of them being Indians this new feature was being expected for quite a long time, researchers mention.


For the group video call with the raised number of participants to function at all, all the participants must have the same versions of the application, meaning 2.20.133 beta for Android users and 2.20.50.25 beta update for iOS users. A new header also notifies users about the end-to-end encryption of the calls.

Per sources, in the last month alone the number of people who “video-call” and the time they spend doing it has increased sufficiently on a global level. The pandemic has brought people closer “online” while being physically distant.

Other famous video calling applications including Facebook’s Messenger and Apple’s FaceTime offer a provision to add 50 and 32 people at once, respectively.

This feature will roll out gradually so all you have to do is update your WhatsApp application, sit tight, and wait for your device to embrace it with open arms!

WhatsApp's Latest Feature will Let Users Verify Forwarded Messages on Google


Owing to the lockdown due to the outbreak of the global pandemic Covid-19, people are once again resorting to their go-to messaging app – WhatsApp to spread misinformation in the name of information. Notably, WhatsApp has continued to be the most favorite platform for the circulation of fake news which also caused a number of untoward incidents in India.

It's mainly because of the rampant forwarding of messages created to promote individuals' or organizations' vested interests. While, public fear, unawareness, and lack of knowledge have a huge role to play in the equation of fake news and the consequences it had on the society, WhatsApp has constantly stood up to the issue and ensured to eliminate the flaws in its software.

The app has a massive reach across the globe with more than 2 billion active users and in an attempt to curb this circulation of misinformation, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature that would allow users to verify the forwarded messages, helping them separate authenticated news from the fake ones.

As per sources, the tool will appear as a magnifying glass icon placed beside the forwarded messages on a user's WhatsApp, when the user will tap on the icon, a pop-up will appear asking him if he would like to search the message on the web, it will enable the user to directly upload the forwarded message on Google and verify the authenticity of the news.

“We are working on new features to help empower users to find out more information about the messages they receive that have been forwarded many times. This featuring is currently in testing, and we look forward to rolling it out in the near future.” WhatsApp told.

In a previous update, WhatsApp introduced a 'forwarded' label at the top of forwarded texts to make identification easier for the users.

The new feature by WhatsApp has already been sent out for testing and will be made available shortly for all the Android users and subsequently for the iOS users.

Is WhatsApp the new Coronavirus of Facebook?


The health officials and government authorities are trying their best to inform the public about the safety precautions amid the Coronavirus epidemic. But these health initiatives taken by the government and medical experts are constantly being threatened by one of the largest social media messaging platform. These messaging platforms are steadily spreading misinformation and fake remedies about the Coronavirus. Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has received harsh criticisms over its handling of the Coronavirus situation because of the spreading of fake news and misinformation using WhatsApp about the Coronavirus epidemic, which has caused more than 8000 death and affected more than 2,00,000 people across the globe.


WhatsApp users send messages that most of the time are inaccurate and lack any legitimacy, say the medical experts. The problem has now become so troublesome that global health organizations and world leaders have asked people to stop forwarding and sharing unverified claims about Coronavirus and its cures using WhatsApp. Irish president Leo Varadkar on twitter asked the people to avoid sharing unverified news in WhatsApp groups. According to him, the WhatsApp messages are frightening and ambiguous. People should only trust official information from health and government sectors, he says.

The misinformation shared on WhatsApp mostly comes from forwarded messages by a friend of a friend or supposedly a doctor. Not all messages are incorrect, for instance, washing your hand to stay safe. One of the most circulated false claims on WhatsApp is 'drinking warm water every 15 minutes will prevent you from Coronavirus.' Because WhatsApp messages have end-to-end encryption, health officials and the government can't trace the source of misinformation. Even WhatsApp can't trace the source of messages.

"It is clear ... that a lot of false information continues to appear in the public sphere. In particular, we need to understand better the risks related to communication on end-to-end encryption services," said Vice President Věra Jourová, Europen Commission, on Tuesday. He also surveys the alliance's work to stop misinformation. "There are over a dozen [local fact checkers] so far, and we want more to be able to do their important work so rumors are identified and countered," said Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, on Wednesday in a tweet.

WhatsApp and Telegram Group Links Leaked Online



A security researcher recently discovered that a lot of WhatsApp and Telegram Group invite links that may not be up for public viewing are appearing in multiple search engines like on Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and Bing.

On Friday, researcher Jordan Wildon, a multimedia journalist at Deutsche Welle warned that owing to a critical issue, several illegal groups and activities along with genuine private groups were exposed.

In the light of the leak, various security measures have been taken by both the companies, however, to erase the links from public searches completely so that they are no longer discoverable by people to join will require much more efforts.

This critical flaw not only abused the privacy of the aforementioned messaging apps by exposing around 450,000 groups online but also allowed data mining as the phone numbers were made available directly.

Notably, these messager apps' invite links have been indexed by several search engines. Due to this indexing feature, WhatsApp and Telegram group invite links are also being displayed publicly by these search engines and the visibility increased the reach even further. Two major happenings took place due to these leaked links – Unwanted and uninvited people joined various groups through the invite links and it also paved an easy path for hackers to discover other conversations through brute force attacks.

While addressing the issue, WhatsApp has seemingly removed the invite links for groups from Google and the company also took other steps in order to prevent indexing.

Wildon took to Twitter to provide updates, "JUST IN: Google appears to have removed indexing of WhatsApp links. Other major search engines appear to still be indexing chat links."

"UPDATE: This has been fixed on Google, but results are still available elsewhere. If you’re concerned, I’d recommend going into group settings, tapping “Invite to Group via Link” then “Reset link”. he tweeted.