A new report by Internet Security Researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia (@rajaharia) suggests that WhatsApp groups that use links to allow users to enter, may once again be vulnerable to being found online.
This would theoretically allow anyone to join the group. Indian Express verified the vulnerability and can confirm that some WhatsApp groups may be joinable from the web.
This is not the first time that the problem has arisen. Private group chat links on WhatsApp were found to be searchable on Google back in 2019. It happened because of the fact that the messaging giant indexed group chat links.
This means these links can be listed in the Google index if we start sharing group invite on a public platform. WhatsApp fixed it several times by including the ‘no-index’ tag on all deep link pages. Thus, the private group chat links are safe at the moment from Google searches.
Your @WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are. WhatsApp Group Chat Invite Links, User Profiles Made Public Again on @Google Again.
Story – https://t.co/GK2KrCtm8J#Infosec #Privacy #Whatsapp #infosecurity #CyberSecurity #GDPR #DataSecurity #dataprotection pic.twitter.com/7PvLYuM9xD
— Rajshekhar Rajaharia (@rajaharia) January 10, 2021
Whatsapp has taken a step to fix this issue. The group chat links, as well as user profiles that were found to be indexed over the weekend, are no longer visible on Google. They have independently verified this claim. WhatsApp has asked Google not to index a group invite link or user profiles in the future.
The WhatsApp spokesperson said that
“Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website,”.
Also, if you are a group admin who sees a random person join the conversation, he needs to kick him out at the very next moment and revoke older group invite links at any time.
Follow Us on Google News for more updates.