[HOT] : Backup encryption announced at WhatsApp

In the pipes for a few months, the function to encrypt backups of conversations initiated by the user of WhatsApp is officially announced.

Faced with the outcry that followed the evolution of its general conditions and the waves of departures for other encrypted messaging platforms (Telegram, Signal…), WhatsApp and Facebook (its parent company) are trying to turn the tide. After end-to-end encryption of messages, the social network giant wants to show that its tool offers its customers sufficient conditions to protect their archives of conversations from view. “We’re adding another layer of privacy and security to WhatsApp: an end-to-end encryption option for the backups people choose to store in Google Drive or iCloud,” Zuckerberg said. The backup encryption function, detailed in a document, will be available for iOS and Android in the coming weeks.

Neither WhatsApp, nor any other service provider, will be able to access users’ backups or encryption keys, says the provider. “WhatsApp’s frontend service, ChatD, manages client connections and client-server authentication, and will implement a protocol that sends backup keys to and from WhatsApp servers,” explains the social network. “The client and the HSM-based backup key vault will exchange encrypted messages, the content of which will not be accessible to ChatD itself.” In order to prevent any risk of network overload and bottlenecks, WhatsApp has planned that the backup key vault (HSM) system will be distributed in a distributed manner over several continents in different data centers.

Enter the 64-character encryption key manually

Backups can also be secured with a password, in which case the encryption key is stored in the HSM. “When the account owner uses a personal password to protect their end-to-end encrypted backup, the HSM stores and protects it,” WhatsApp continues. To find it, the user must first enter this password which will be encrypted and verified by the tool. Once the password has been validated, Backup Key Vault then sends the encryption key back to the WhatsApp client, which then allows the backups to be decrypted. “If an account owner has chosen only to use a 64-character key (64 digit key), he will have to manually enter the key himself to decrypt and access his backups,” warns the provider. A type of key that allows you to protect your data well, the combination of 1664 leaving little hope of being broken.

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