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UN Officials barred from using WhatsApp

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United Nations officials do not use WhatsApp to communicate as it is not considered as a secure mechanism. An U.N. spokesman stated on Thursday, when U.N. experts accused Saudi Arabia for using the online communications platform to hack the phone of Amazon chief executive and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos.

The independent U.N. experts said that they had information directing to the “possible involvement” of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the alleged 2018 cyberattack on the billionaire Amazon.com Inc chief.

They called for an immediate investigation by U.S. and other authorities, based on a forensic report by Washington-based FTI Consulting. According to the report Bezos’ iPhone was hijacked by a malicious video file sent from a WhatsApp account used by the crown prince.

When the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was asked whether they had communicated with the Saudi crown prince or any other world leaders using WhatsApp, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said that the senior officials at the U.N. have been instructed not to use WhatsApp as it is not supported as a secure mechanism.

He believes that the secretary-general does not uses it. He stated that the directive not to use WhatsApp was given to U.N. officials in June last year.

When WhatsApp was asked about the move by the United Nations, they assured that it provides industry leading security for more than 1.5 billion users.

WhatsApp Director of Communications Carl Woog stated that every private message is protected by end-to-end encryption to help prevent WhatsApp or others from viewing chats. The encryption technology developed with Signal is highly regarded by security experts and remains the best available for people around the world.

WhatsApp takes security very seriously compared to others. Every application has vulnerabilities which can be exploited in some way but WhatsApp is particularly good at fixing them, where such kind of security procedures is still a dream for many companies.

Priyanka R
Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Author at Cyber Safe News

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