WhatsApp to offer encryption on cloud backups: Heres all you need to know – India Today

The most popular instant messaging platform in the world, WhatsApp, will now let its users encrypt the backups of their messages. It is the first global messaging service on this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging and backups.

Talking about the new feature, Mark Zuckerberg said, 'Getting there was a really hard technical challenge that required an entirely new framework for key storage and cloud storage across operating systems.' (sic)

End-to-end encryption is a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages. It usually refers to the data in motion being transferred from one users device to another users device.

It means that only you will be given the option to back up your chats to Apple iCloud or Google Drive, depending on whether you are using an iPhone or an Android phone.

No one but only you will have the encryption key to unlock your stored backup.

This will make the backups unreadable without an encryption key. All users who opt into encrypted backups will be asked to save a 64-digit encryption key or create a password that is tied to the key.

When a user creates a password to their accounts encryption key, WhatsApp will back up the associated key in a physical hardware security module, and can be unlocked only when the correct password is entered on WhatsApp.

The hardware security module (HSM) provides the encryption key that in turn decrypts the accounts backup that is stored on either Apple or Googles servers. A key stores in WhatsApps HSM vaults will become permanently inaccessible if repeated password attempts are made.

HSM will act like a safety deposit box for encrypting and decrypting digital keys.

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WhatsApp to offer encryption on cloud backups: Heres all you need to know - India Today

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