Apps Like Facebook, Whatsapp Steal Users’ Data: Hackers

Underlining the need for Cyber Security Co-operation between South Asian nations, Sri Lanka’s top envoy to India has invited the country’s hackers and security researchers to Colombo so that they can ‘share knowledge with their Sri Lankan counterparts’.

Prasad Kariyawasam was speaking Sunday at the inauguration of The Hackers Conference in New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre – organized by cyber security analysts in view of ‘trying times and the need to look for solutions’.

New security solution ideas were showcased during the second edition of conference, which was attended by international hackers, cyber crime specialists, security experts and policymakers from the ruling government.

The Supreme Court advocate Virag Gupta, who filed the first petition before the apex court against the controversial US’ snooping programme PRISM, insisted for checks on the Internet companies to safeguard the privacy of the Internet users.

Co-founder member of The Hackers Conference and a mobile warfare researcher, Jiten Jain along with Abhay Aggarwal showcased to the audience how ‘WeChat was spying on users’. “It is a threat to the National Security, as it effectively gives the Chinese government not just access to our chat logs, voice samples, location, but also to each and every data on our smartphones,” they revealed.

Ali Prabhai, a member of the US InfraGard (GBI), spoke on UNIT 61398, ‘a secretive Chinese military People’s Liberation Army’s Shanghai-based unit’ that according to him was instrumental in a series of cyber-attacks on governments, aerospaces, communication and energy companies. Ali demonstrated step-by-step how these attacks took place, and how they are a threat to India’s national security.

Aman Srivastava, hacker and researcher with focus on Underground Market Techniques and financial crimes, demonstrated how cyber-criminals use Bitcoins to carry out their untraceable transactions in the underground markets and execute financial frauds and malicious activities.

Dinesh O. Bareja- Advisor with Cyber Defence Research Centre, Jharkhand Police and various State IT departments spoke on Bug Bounties and how the government to secure sensitive information in the cyber space should implement it.

Mayank, a smartphone application developer with Samsung’s R&D and Mohit- Co-founder of The Hackers Conference and founder of The Hacker News, demonstrated how unsafe the personal data of users was with applications like Google, Facebook, WeChat, Whatsapp and Truecaller. They hacked into mobile phones at the conference and demonstrated how applications like Whatsapp, Facebook and WeChat can spy on smartphones and steal every single data present there.

Wahid Bukhari

Wahid Bukhari is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi.

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