article reported a new weakness in Whats App’s encryption, described as a backdoor in one of the most widely used encrypted chat apps in the world.
Whats App was quick to push back against the allegation, saying in a statement, “Whats App does not give governments a ‘backdoor’ into its systems and would fight any government request to create a backdoor.” The bug described in the article had long been known by security professionals, and there’s no evidence Whats App ever tried to conceal it.
The report, based on leaked slides from the National Security Agency, appears to confirm growing suspicions about the popular video chat service -- and indicates calls may be monitored as easily as an old-fashioned phone call.Another classified document, citing collaboration between NSA and FBI, said: "Feedback indicated that a collected Skype call was very clear and the metadata looked complete.Collaborative teamwork was the key to the successful addition of another provider to the PRISM system." After buying Skype, Microsoft dramatically overhauled its architecture, replacing peer-to-peer "super nodes" with thousands of servers run by Microsoft -- a more centralized approach that may have made it easier for government eavesdroppers.However, the rest of the team must be able to effectively hold off the opposing team for any objectives they may be after, and also able to prevent them from recalling, so that the backdooring champion has time to push up the lane and take the objective they are after.The time to use this form of backdooring is when a minion lane is already naturally pushed into the opponents half, therefore abilities that let you quickly cross the map (such as teleport, or Pantheon's Grand Skyfall or Rek'Sai's Void Rush) are very desirable for this strategy, as it allows the user to quickly move to the pushed lane.One document quoted by the newspaper says intelligence analysts began to be able to monitor Skype video calls in July 2012: "The audio portions of these sessions have been processed correctly all along, but without the accompanying video.Now, analysts will have the complete 'picture.'" This is a dramatic change from Skype's previous apparent resistance to eavesdropping.Silent Circle, Off-the-Record Messaging for instant messages, and e-mail messages encrypted with PGP do precisely that.But few companies take that step, which can be a significant engineering expense and complicated for customers to use.The benefit of the strategy lies in the element of surprise.Champions have the opportunity to notice when a lane is being pushed and can move to defend it before the enemy reaches a turret, whereas backdooring can allow the turret to be destroyed before the defending team has a chance to react.