WhatsApp announces end-to-end encrypted backups on iCloud, Google Drive

Whatsapp has announced its hidden end-to-end encrypted backups of iCloud and Google Drive, according to the messaging app statement.

In its Twitter account, the instant messaging platform said users could now ensure that “bestie voice messages and mom’s secret recipe will be stored securely in the only place they can access”.

“Improving hidden end-to-end backups has been an excellent technological challenge: a completely new framework for key storage and cloud computing,” the platform said.

According to a second statement from the parent company of the messaging app, Facebook, anyone can automatically back up their WhatsApp contact history using cloud-based services like Google Drive and iCloud.

“WhatsApp has no access to these backups, and they are protected by private cloud storage services,” it said.

However, if the end-to-end (E2EE) backup is finally installed, to the end, Whatsapp or the backup service provider will be able to access the backup or backup encryption key, according to the company.

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WhatsApp adds end-to-end encryption for cloud chat backups

E2EE chat backups will be an optional feature. Users who choose to enable the feature will need to manually store a 64-digit encryption key or set a password. For pre-selection, you will need to manually enter the key to delete write and access your backups.

However, if you select the password option, your encryption key will be saved in the Hardware Security (HSM) module. Entering the correct password will give you access to this vault so you can retrieve your encryption key. This key is then used to encrypt your chat backups when you restore them to your device.

WhatsApp adds end-to-end encryption for cloud chat backups
WhatsApp adds end-to-end encryption for cloud chat backups

WhatsApp warns that unsuccessful attempts, i.e. incorrect password input, access to HSM Backup Key Vault will lock you permanently, providing an inaccessible key. So you want to be very careful with your password.

E2EE’s WhatsApp chat backups will be available to all its 2 billion users. The feature will begin to be released on both Android and iOS versions of the app in the coming weeks. The company has provided all the technical details about E2EE for negotiations that can be discussed in the white paper.

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