Russian Anti-Terrorism Law Encourages Security Companies To Hack WhatsApp, Skype And Facebook Messenger
A skype logo is seen at the Microsoft pavilion during the second day of the Mobile World Congress 2015 at the Fira Gran Via complex on March 3, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.
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The recently passed Russian anti-terrorism law called the Yarovaya Law encourages the country’s security companies to hack Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype and other messaging services.
Russian Anti-Terrorism Law
The recently passed Russian law adopted as an anti-terrorism measure has given the country’s security companies the right to crack encrypted communication services. According to the website letallknow.com, an employee working with the security firm Con Certeza recently told the Russian publication Kommersant that their company is working to find means of obtaining users’ credentials and accessing sensitive data.
According to the website scmagazine.com, the employee said that the security company is working in particular to hack the main messenger services such as Skype, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp, on both Android and iOS. The Con Certeza security company often works closely with the Russian law enforcement agencies. Its tools are not only be used to decrypt internet traffic but can also be used to deploy attacks such as the man-in-the-middle hack.
According to the newly adopted Russian anti-terrorism law social media and communications companies are required to hand over encryption keys to state security agencies. All social media companies are required to retain information about traffic on their servers for one year and all communications companies are also required to retain information about data traffic on their servers for three years.
Russia’s Federal Security Service Decoding System
According to the website iteportal.com, in Russia, the modern successor to the KGB, Russia’s Federal Security Service, has also reported been working on developing a system that will be able to decode in real time all of the internet traffic that passes through the country. The system developed by the Russian security service will be easily searchable by using keywords.
It seems that the creation of such a system is a direct reaction by the Russia’s government to the news regarding the creation of an application called CatchApp by the Israeli security company Wintego. CatchApp is allegedly capable of breaking WhatsApp’s encryption by using a man-in-the-middle style attack in order to intercept traffic sent between the device being targeted and the WhatsApp’s servers.
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