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WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups announced for Android and iOS

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WhatsApp end to end Encryption

On September 10, 2021, WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups is officially announced for Android and iOS devices. This feature allows you to further strengthen and safeguard privacy for message backups.

Adding to the existing online backup options, the new end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) disables both WhatsApp or the backup service to read your backup content or your backup encryption key.

So how does WhatsApp end to end encryption works?

The new WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups work is based on WhatsApp E2EE and WhatsApp explains that to make this feature work, the chat app maker has developed a new system for encryption key storage that works with both iOS and Android. The backup then be encrypted with a unique random encryption key. You will also have an option to generate this key randomly or via a user password.

When someone opts for a password, the key is stored in a Backup Key Vault that is built based on a component called a hardware security module (HSM) — specialized, secure hardware that can be used to securely store encryption keys.

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When the account owner needs access to their backup, they can access it with their encryption key, or they can use their personal password to retrieve their encryption key from the HSM-based Backup Key Vault and decrypt their backup.

The HSM-based Backup Key Vault will be responsible for enforcing password verification attempts and rendering the key permanently inaccessible after a minimal number of unsuccessful attempts to access it.

These security measures provide protection against brute-force attempts to retrieve the key. WhatsApp will know only that a key exists in the HSM. It will not know the key itself.

WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups

WhatsApp end to end Encryption

New Process:

When you use a personal password to protect your WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups, the HSM based backup key vault will store the key and secure it by registering it with the backup key vault.

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If some tries to access your backup:

  • They enter their password, which is encrypted and then verified by the Backup Key Vault.
  • Once the password is verified, the Backup Key Vault will send the encryption key back to the WhatsApp client.
  • With the key in hand, the WhatsApp client can then decrypt the backups.
  • Alternatively, if an account owner has chosen to use the 64-digit key alone, they will have to manually enter the key themselves to decrypt and access their backups.

When it’ll rollout?

According to WhatsApp, this feature will be available on Android and iOS in the coming weeks.

Most of Deng Li's smartphones are from the Huawei ecosystem and his first Huawei phone was Ascend Mate 2 (4G). As a tech enthusiast, he keeps exploring new technologies and inspects them closely. Apart from the technology world, he takes care of his garden.

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp Message Reporting feature rolling out for iOS and Android

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WhatsApp

WhatsApp has just brought us the message reporting system, enabling the possibility to report a single message. It’ll be helpful in the situation where you can’t block a user or exit any group after finding insolent messages.

At present, WhatsApp only allows a user to report an individual contact or group. There is no option is available for message reporting. However, it can be problematic if a user mistakenly reported contact or group as it can’t be retrieved.

Now, the new feature will let a user report a single message if spotting any offensive content. in conversation. Furthermore, only the selected message will be forward on WhatsApp servers without acknowledging the other user. Besides, users can also block the other user whose message is being reported.

Related: New WhatsApp Report Feature will send the last 5 messages of the reported contact

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How to Verify: 

To verify the message reporting feature, open any conversation from your contact list on the WhatsApp account. Now you have to select any received message. If the feature has been enabled on your device you will have an extra option to report a particular message.

Availability:

WhatsApp has started to rollout the message reporting system for both platforms. You can check the feature by following the above-mentioned method if it has been enabled on your devices or not. Users can match

  •  2.21.190.12 iOS beta version for Apple devices
  •  2.21.20.1 Android beta version for other smartphones

Moreover, some users also received this feature with the previous updates. In case you haven’t received it yet please wait for the next update, WhatsApp will soon send this new feature on your devices.

Now, it’s time to check the screenshots of the feature for a better understanding-

               (WhatsApp Message Reporting for iOS, Image From WABetaInfo)WhatsApp Message Reporting             (WhatsApp Message Reporting for Android, Image From WABetaInfo)

(Source: WABetaInfo)

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WhatsApp

Decorate WhatsApp group profile with the new icon editor feature

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WhatsApp has recently introduced new modifications in drawing tools, editing sections, contact card layout, group info modification, and more. Now, WhatsApp is sending a new tool that will give you the possibility to customized group profiles.

In the era of instant messaging, we all have many groups where we add contacts from the same fields such as a group for school friends, college friends, coaching group, family group, office group, etc. Sometimes, we don’t have suitable profile images for the time being just after creating the group.

For further convenience, WhatsApp is adding a group icon editor so that you can add a temporary image profile. Let’s first take a look at the preview image.

WhatsApp Group Icon Editor

(WhatsApp Group Icon Editor, Image From WABetaInfo)

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Related: Turn images into stickers, check this new WhatsApp Desktop feature

New Feature:

The new option called “Emoji & Sticker” will allow to customizes group icons using WhatsApp emojis and stickers. It provides different backgrounds where you can place any emoji or sticker to make an icon for your temporary group.

After opening group info, click on the profile to edit it, if you see this new “Emoji and Sticker” option, you are able to use it. It’ll also have the categorization bar (same as the message section), so you can easily find suitable emojis instantly.

Availability: 

The WhatsApp beta for iOS 2.21.190.11 brings this new feature. At present, it’s only rolling out for the iOS beta testers while it’ll soon roll out for the Android users. Besides, this feature can take up to a day to enable in your device. So you can try to wait 24 hours in case you just updated to the newest version and didn’t find this feature.

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(Source- WABetaInfo)

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WhatsApp excludes the Messenger Rooms shortcut

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WhatsApp Feature

WhatsApp has recently removed the messenger rooms shortcut available in the attachment section. The Android and iOS users will not able to access this option and conduct any communication within messenger rooms.

This feature was enabled about a year ago for WhatsApp Andoird, iOS, Web users that allows up to 50 participants to join a group video call on Facebook. If you are wondering about the chat rooms let’s start from the initial and check what the messenger room is.

What is Messenger Rooms Shortcut:

Messenger Room Shortcuts is a feature initially created by Messenger that is owned by Facebook. It’s a type of video chat room that lets you can connect with more people by sharing a link. Corresponding to the different settings, other users need not downloading Messenger, log in, or connect on Messenger to join your call.

It means users with no Facebook account can also join a video chat on messenger rooms. Users can share the room link on WhatsApp to invite their friends, family, or colleagues. However, any WhatsApp user can forward the link to other users who aren’t on your contact list. furthermore, the chat room isn’t end-to-end encrypted.

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WhatsApp messenger Room shortcut             (WhatsApp Messanger Room Shortcut removed, Image from WABetaInfo)

Why WhatsApp has Removed it:

After sending any feature, WhatsApp keeps checking on it frequently to find the priority of any particular feature. If any of them isn’t used by the users or don’t have any major use, it’s best to discard them to reduces the code complexity.

There could be one more possibility that is, WhatsApp may want to further enhance the feature and providing it with more security options as I already mentioned that chat rooms aren’t E2E encrypted. It may be for a while until the shortcut is completely ready for the users. However, WhatsApp hasn’t provided any official statement regarding this matter.

When it Will be Disabled:

If you are still using this shortcut, it means that WhatsApp hasn’t removed it from your device yet. The update isn’t rolled out in your region. But, it’ll soon exclude from your device after updating on

  • 2.21.19.15 for the Android users
  • 2.21.190.11 for the iOS users

(Source: WABetaInfo)

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