As a result of the Wikileaks data dump, rumours abound that the CIA can compromise Signal, WhatsApp and any other encrypted chat apps. Fear not, this isn’t true. Due to the end-to-end encryption used by the leading messaging systems, no one can access a private message while it’s in transit – not even the service provider, the CIA or 007’s mate Q.
On the other hand, those snooping could bypass encryption altogether by gaining access to the device sending or receiving the message. Generally speaking, however, nation-state actors are the only people likely to be at risk from a total-device takeover. Reassuring news for the one billion or so people who use instant messaging applications.