Your Whatsapp Number Is Exposed On Google Search: There’s A Bug In Whatsapp!
In a privacy scare, it has been found that your Whatsapp number can be appearing in Google searches.
And this is not only annoying, but a threat to your privacy as well.
The reason for this is a bug in Whatsapp.
Find out more about it right here!
Whatsapp Has a Bug; Your Number Is Exposed?
As per Bug-bounty hunter Athul Jayaram, there is a bug in Whatsapp, which makes your Whatsapp number getting exposed in the Google searches.
This bug is present in the WhatsApp’s Click to Chat, which enables you to send a Whatsapp chat/message to a contact, who is not added in your contact list.
Earlier, a user was able to chat with a contact on Whatsapp, only if he or she is added in the address book of that user.
But with WhatsApp’s Click to Chat, this requirement is not longer needed.
However, it has a bug, and which can expose your number on Google search!
How Is This Bug Working?
As per Athul Jayaram, the phone numbers of the users who use this feature of Click to Chat, is saved in a link. And now, this link is being indexed by Google, which makes it available on the Google search.
As per the findings, the URL: https://wa.me/<phone_number> is indexed on Google, and the phone numbers are displayed via plain text.
He has discovered around 300,000 Whatsapp numbers on Google search, since they used Click To Chat feature, and found their numbers indexed on Google.
Athul informed that this a privacy nightmare, since the users’ Whatsapp numbers are being shown in Google searches, and this means the identity is exposed.
Scammers can trace that number, and dig out other critical information.
He said, “As individual phone numbers are leaked, an attacker can message them, call them, sell their phone numbers to marketers, spammers, scammers,”, adding, “Through the WhatsApp profile, they can see the profile photo of the user, and do a reverse-image search to find their other social-media accounts and discover a lot more about [a targeted individual],”
He has already informed Facebook about this bug, but they are refusing to award him, since their bug bounty program doesnt cover Whatsapp.
Infact, Whatsapp doesn’t even consider this as a privacy abuse.
In a statement, Whatsapp said, “While we appreciate this researcher’s report and value the time that he took to share it with us, it did not qualify for a bounty since it merely contained a search engine index of URLs that WhatsApp users chose to make public. All WhatsApp users, including businesses, can block unwanted messages with the tap of a button,”
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.