Whatsapp Chat Not Getting Fully Deleted
Jonathan Zdziarski a researcher at iOS, examined disk images taken from the most recent version of Whatsapp. Zdziarski discovered chats on the device that are deleted, we can find in chat logs. According to him, the software retains and stores a forensic trace of the chat logs, which is recoverable. Physical access to such devices can give away a lot of information to anyone. His further findings show that data is also recoverable with a proper remote backup setup.
Generally, in most cases, the app marks the data for deletion automatically. Since it is not overwritten it can be recovered with the help of forensic tools. This problem is caused because of the SQLite library used in coding the app, which does not overwrite by default according to Zdziarski.
Earlier WhatsApp was applauded by many for the end to end encryption feature introduced. It has been considered reliable for a more secure and private chat. This only manages to protect data in transit. The carriers and other intermediaries are prevented from spying on conversations as they travel across the network
The findings of Zdziarski suggest that as the data reaches the phone is stored on disk or the cloud storage. The data stored on a cloud is not encrypted. It can be retrieved even if the conversation had been deleted within the app. Which means the law agency having court orders can possibly retrieve data using forensic tools.
Jonathan Zdziarski wrote a post – “The core issue here is that ephemeral communication is not ephemeral on disk,”
The news raises eyebrows yet it is not a cause of major concern as most of the messaging apps leave similar traces. Recently WhatsApp is facing many blackout orders from local courts. Though it has always shied away from sharing chat logs because of the end-to-end encryption systems.