WhatsApp users, Android and iOS will soon have the ability to protect their backups with end-to–end encryption to iCloud or Google Drive. This was confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.
“WhatsApp is the first global messaging service at this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging and backups,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post, “and getting there was a really hard technical challenge that required an entirely new framework for key storage and cloud storage across operating systems.”
That work became public when WABetaInfo reported that the service had started testing end-to-end encrypted backups on Android in July. It’s now official that WhatsApp users will soon be able to save their chat history and use cloud services without worrying about privacy. This assumes that WhatsApp has implemented these encrypted backups without flaws.
Facebook published a post to its engineering-focused blog discussing WhatsApp’s implementation of end-to-end encrypted backups. The post explained that WhatsApp users have two choices for encryption of their chat history: a random 64-digit key generated randomly or a password saved in a Backup Key vault.
Backup key vaults keep passwords safe in the Hardware Security Module (HSM). Facebook stated that the vault would “enforce password verification attempts, rendering the key permanent inaccessible after an extremely limited number of failed attempts at accessing it,” but that WhatsApp “will only know that the HSM contains a key.” The key will not be known by the vault.
The company said “the HSM-based Backup Key Vault service will be geographically distributed across multiple data centers to keep it up and running in case of a data center outage,” too, which is vital for a global service with 2 billion users. More information about how Facebook and WhatsApp have set up end-to-end encrypted backups is available in a new whitepaper.
Facebook announced that WhatsApp users will have access to encrypted backups of all endpoints for Android and iOS “in the next weeks.”
Publited Sat, 11 September 2021 at 00:34.23 (+0000).