Recently, all of us received a WhatsApp update which brought about a horde of new emoticons. Yes, that update left us happier. but another important update has left most users confused: the end-to-end Whatsapp encryption.
So what is Whatsapp Encryption?
End-to-end Whatsapp encryption works the way a lock works.
To have access to the house, you need to have the key to the lock.
Compare your chat to your house. Now what whastapp has done, is that it has put a lock on your chats, providing you and the receiver with the key to access it.
The chats are inaccessible by third party companies, hackers, and for that matter, even Whatsapp itself.
Whatsapp is using “The Signal Protocol”, designed by Open Whisper Systems for its encryption.
In a paper released by the company, it clarified-‘once the session is established, clients do not need to rebuild a new session with each other until the existing session state is lost through an external event such as an app reinstall or device change.”
The technical method of encryption is also described. It reads, “clients exchange messages that are protected with a Message Key using AES256 in CBC mode for encryption and HMAC-SHA256 for authentication. The Message Key changes for each message transmitted, and is ephemeral, such that the Message Key used to encrypt a message cannot be reconstructed from the session.”
The encryption is a default feature and unlike Telegram, where users can start a private chat, Whatsapp users have no control over what they choose to encrypt.
The role of the user in this Whatsapp encryption is minimal; the user just gets a notification telling him/her: “ messages you send to this chat and calls are secured with end-yo-end encryption.”
Why is Whatsapp Encryption good?
The Whatsapp encryption is very good news for users as it has ensured complete privacy for the users, without any hassles involved.
Even group chats are encrypted, provided the systems are running the latest version of Whatsapp.
All in all, the encryption is a much needed safety feature and Whatsapp adding it is a step in the future of private security.