'Stay away from WhatsApp', says Telegram founder Pavel Durov, warns of hacking threat | Tech News

'Stay away from WhatsApp', says Telegram founder Pavel Durov, warns of hacking threat

Telegram founder Pavel Durov has asked people to stay away from WhatsApp as it is a surveillance tool.

| Updated on: Oct 07 2022, 17:00 IST
Telegram Emoji Statuses, Infinite Reactions rolled out; know how to use
Telegram founder Pavel Durov and WhatsApp
1/5 Telegram update: Infinite Reactions- All Telegram users now have access to dozens of reactions – including those that were previously only available with Telegram Premium. It can be known that the reactions you use frequently will show up at the top. The app further informed that premium users can pick reactions from an infinite selection of custom emoji. They can now even attach up to 3 reactions per message. Also, these changes to reactions are currently available in groups and 1-on-1 chats. Group admins can control whether custom reactions may be used in their groups. (Telegram)
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2/5 Telegram Update: Emoji Statuses- Premium users can now add an animated emoji status that is displayed next to their name - to quickly let everyone know how they are feeling or what they are doing. This custom status takes the place of your Premium Badge in the chat list, in your profile and in groups. You can set one of 7 standard statuses that change their color to match different Telegram themes – or choose from an infinite number of custom emoji. Popular suggestions for working, sleeping, traveling and more will be shown at the top. All you will have to do is tap the Premium badge at the top of your chat list or go to Settings to change your status. Press and hold an emoji to set a status for a specific duration. Also, anyone can use Telegram's open emoji platform to upload custom packs with unique art styles and characters for Telegram Premium users. (Telegram)
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3/5 Telegram Update: Improved Login Flow- Users who log out and log back in frequently can now receive login codes through their email address or using Sign in with Apple or Sign in with Google. Signing up or logging in to Telegram on iOS is now even more easy with new interfaces and animations that are already known to the Android users. (Telegram)
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4/5 Telegram Update: Prioritize Downloads on Android- Media and files that are actively downloading can be managed in the 'Downloads' tab of Search or by tapping the Downloads Android icon that appears in your chat list. You can now press and hold any items in the list to reorder them and change their priority – downloading the top file first. This feature was already available on iOS – press and hold an item in the Downloads iOS list and select 'Prioritize Download'. (Telegram)
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5/5 Telegram Update: Android Goodies- Telegram has added new animations for opening, closing and changing media on Android. Those on Android 13 or newer can choose a thematic Telegram icon that will automatically match your phone's dark mode settings and accent color. (Telegram)
Telegram founder Pavel Durov and WhatsApp
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Know why Telegram founder Pavel Durov asked people to stay away from WhatsApp. (Pavel Durov Twitter/Reuters)

Telegram and WhatsApp are two of the most popular online messaging applications offering several outstanding features. But, which app is better and more secure has always been a controversial topic. The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov on Thursday has indicated that WhatsApp is not safe. He stated that hackers could have full access to everything on the phones of WhatsApp users, via a tweet. While talking to his Telegram channel he further asked people to stay away from WhatsApp as it has now been a surveillance tool for 13 years.

“I'm not pushing people to switch to Telegram here. With 700M+ active users and 2M+ daily signups, Telegram doesn't need additional promotion. You can use any messaging app you like, but do stay away from WhatsApp – it has now been a surveillance tool for 13 years,” he said in his channel.

Explaining how a hacker can access everything on WhatsApp users phone, Durov said, "This was possible through a security issue disclosed by WhatsApp itself last week. All a hacker had to do to control your phone was send you a malicious video or start a video call with you on WhatsApp. You are probably thinking "Yeah, but if I updated WhatsApp to the latest version, I am safe, right"? Not really," he said.

He further informed that this is not the first time when WhatsApp's security issue has been disclosed. It has also been discovered earlier in the year 2017. "A WhatsApp security issue exactly like this one was discovered in 2018, then another in 2019 and yet another one in 2020 (tap each year's link to see the corresponding vulnerability). And yes, in 2017 before that. Prior to 2016, WhatsApp didn't have encryption at all," he said.

Attacking Telegram's rival, the founder said, "Every year, we learn about some issue in WhatsApp that puts everything on their users' devices at risk. Which means it's almost certain that a new security flaw already exists there. Such issues are hardly incidental – they are planted backdoors. If one backdoor is discovered and has to be removed, another one is added (read the post "Why WhatsApp will never be secure" to understand why)."

"It doesn't matter if you are the richest person on earth – if you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, all your data from every app on your device is accessible, as Jeff Bezos found out in 2020. That's why I deleted WhatsApp from my devices years ago. Having it installed creates a door to get into your phone," he added.

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First Published Date: 07 Oct, 16:55 IST