Security Researcher Gives a Warning to Millions of WhatsApp Users for Remote Deactivation

Shockwaves have been sent across social media platforms, particularly on Whatsapp and among its users, when a highly reputable security expert warned people using Whatsapp that just through an email, they can get their account deactivated and won’t be able to prevent nor stop it from happening.

A user has an option for account deactivation in case of getting one’s phone stolen. Still, this option came with a consequence as per a renowned security expert, WhatsApp might have made other users vulnerable and deny any potential service attacks.

Former law enforcement head of digital forensics, cybersecurity expert Jake Moore and an ESEST advisor tweeted that any evil person can use your phone number to deactivate your WhatsApp account remotely. According to Moore, Whatsapp launched a new feature that will allow only an email to be sent to Whatsapp with the keyword of Lost/Stolen along with the phone number of the WhatsApp account you want to get deactivated, and all you have to wait for some time as the Whatsapp account will get deactivated. What's concerning is that this email can be sent by any random email rather than through the Whatsapp account holder. When the Whatsapp deactivation request is accepted, the individual account isn’t deleted permanently for the next 30 days as the person can still log back in to reactivate the account; it will just be a simple process of logging in and out. This process becomes highly confusing as anyone can send an email repeatedly requesting account deactivation resulting in service denial for its users.

However, since the tweet by Mr. Moree and the news went viral, Whatsapp has taken a step back with its right-away email deactivation process. No, from what it looks like is that Whatsapp technical support sends confirming receipt of the request.

Moreover, users now get a request for a follow-up regarding further verification and to make sure that the owner of the Whatsapp account sends the email, as this is done by asking for a verification document such as a phone bill copy or its contract.

Read next: Cyberterrorism Outweighs Nuclear War as Top Concern for Americans, Gallup Survey Reveals
Previous Post Next Post