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WhatsApp Working on Extending End-to-End Encryption to Local Backups: Report

WhatsApp already does encrypt local backups, but the new development would enhance user security by adding end-to-end encryption to those backups.

WhatsApp Working on Extending End-to-End Encryption to Local Backups: Report

Photo Credit: Reuters

WhatsApp is also said to be in the works on enabling end-to-end encrypted Google Drive backups

Highlights
  • WhatsApp users may soon get end-to-end encrypted local backups
  • It is said to be initially coming to Android users through a beta version
  • WhatsApp currently offers end-to-end encryption for user conversations

WhatsApp is working on enabling end-to-end encryption for local backups, according to a report. The new development is said to first arrive in a beta build of WhatsApp for Android. However, the feature has not yet been confirmed by the messaging app maker itself. Alongside enhancing security of its local backups, WhatsApp is reportedly working on bringing end-to-end encrypted backups on Google Drive that would help people secure their messages and other content being uploaded on the cloud storage from any unauthorised access.

WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp is extending end-to-end encryption to local backups. The instant messaging app already has the same kind of encryption for chats and calls initiated through its platform.

However, by bringing end-to-end encryption to local backups, WhatsApp would eventually restrict third parties from accessing its locally stored backups on smartphones. The feature could be helpful to protect conversations from hackers who could remotely gain access to WhatsApp backups stored on the device.

It is important to note that WhatsApp presently encrypts local backups to keep them protected from strangers. However, these backups aren't end-to-end encrypted, meaning they could be decrypted on a third-party device once they are being accessed by a bad actor.

For the last few months, WhatsApp has been in the headlines for developing end-to-end encryption for backups stored on Google Drive. That support is, however, yet to be available to the public.

A screenshot has been posted by WABetaInfo that suggests the end-to-end encryption would be available for both cloud and local backups at the same time.

whatsapp end to end encrypted backups screenshot wabetainfo WhatsApp

WhatsApp appears to soon enable end-to-end encryption for both local and cloud backups
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo

 

Last month, WhatsApp started rolling out the anticipated multi-device support for beta testers to enable access to its service simultaneously across up to four non-phone devices. The Facebook-owned company developed an all-new end-to-end encryption technology that it will use for enabling communication between devices. That same development could help pave the way for end-to-end encrypted backups over time.


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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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