Russian cybersecurity firms greenlit to hack Viber, WhatsApp encryption – report

October 4, 2016

Russian cybersecurity companies have a greenlight to decrypt traffic of such popular communication tools as Viber, WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger, a popular business daily reports. The measure is connected to a recently-adopted anti-terrorism law.

“We are going to look into the main messengers — WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Skype both for iOS and Android,” Kommersant cites a letter from an employee of Con Certeza, a company dealing with the development of tools necessary for enforcing law in the telecommunications field.

The employee wrote that the company aims to make conclusions about the possibility of accessing sensitive data – which includes identifying the parties, their passwords and the content of the messages, including using the Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attacks – and to come up with a working prototype for a system, if such a possibility exists.

Con Certeza is reportedly planning to hire a contractor to research the messengers, each of them for two months. It is reported that it plans to start with Viber.

If accessing and decrypting end-to-end messenger traffic appears not to be possible in mobile operator systems in line with the existing regulatory requirements, the contractor would have to give its reasons.

The controversial package of anti-terrorism laws recently passed in Russia was prepared by a group of lawmakers headed by the chair of the State Duma Committee for Security, Irina Yarovaya, and is known as the ‘Yarovaya Law’ in Russia.

Read full story…