SAN FRANCISCO – If you use WhatsApp or Telegram on your web browser, you’ll want to shut down the browser and start it up again to keep hackers from taking over your account.
A group of researchers from cybersecurity firm Check Point revealed Wednesday that the web browser version of these popular encrypted-messaging apps had flaws that could have let hackers access and alter user accounts.
“This means that attackers could potentially download your photos and or post them online, send messages on your behalf, demand ransom, and even take over your friends’ accounts,” the researchers wrote in a blog post published Wednesday.
The research comes at a sensitive time for encrypted-messaging services, which have come under fire for being vulnerable to hacking attacks. These apps scramble up communications as they travel from one user to another, making them unreadable to anyone but the sender and receiver.
So even though two recent claims that encrypted-messaging apps are vulnerable have been criticized by security experts as exaggerated or misleading, users are naturally alarmed by research like Check Point’s.