Is it possible to hack WhatsApp messages?

Read WhatsApp and monitor chats - that should be taken into account

Messenger WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps on Android phones and iPhones. Messages are sent via this in the private sector as well as for business and leisure. But you should be careful when using it. There are a few ways that other users can read WhatsApp.

In order to intercept messages from the messenger, you don't even need in-depth hacking or programming knowledge. If you are not careful, your WhatsApp messages may fall into the wrong hands. We'll show you how it works and how you can protect yourself.

Read WhatsApp without consent: is it allowed?

Even if there are theoretically ways to monitor third-party WhatsApp accounts, you should stay away from them. Without the consent of the account owner, this is a criminal offense according to Section 202 of the German Criminal Code, which can result in imprisonment. Parents who want to monitor their children with cell phone monitoring software are also in a legal gray area.

Intercept messages with spy app?

WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption. This means that your message is encoded when it is sent and only decrypted on the recipient's device. Messages cannot be "intercepted" and read out on the go. In order to be able to read WhatsApp, attackers either have to gain access to your mobile phone or to backups stored in the cloud. But how does it work?

There are numerous spy apps on the Internet that promise access to third-party WhatsApp messages. The best known application is mSpy. In order to be able to use the functions of the app, a paid subscription is required. With the iPhone, the service accesses data from the iCloud backup. The access data of the corresponding iCloud account is required for this. With Android phones, however, the application must be installed directly on the device. The smartphone must also be rooted.

So you cannot read WhatsApp messages without a lot of effort. You protect yourself by not leaving your cell phone in the wrong hands. In addition, you should only install apps from secure sources. Unknown applications often hide a Trojan horse that may give access to your activities. You should never give personal data and information such as a WhatsApp code to unknown services or contacts.

Apps themselves are often disguised as "WhatsApp spying" applications for fraudulent purposes. For example, one is tempted to first take part in a survey or download a seemingly harmless game app. In this way, you unintentionally take out an expensive subscription or infiltrate malicious software onto your mobile phone. However, you do not get a working spy app.

Monitoring by Trojan horse apps

Every now and then, bugs and security gaps appear in WhatsApp that allow unauthorized access to messages, for example through a seemingly harmless GIF animation. With the “Double Free” vulnerability, hackers were able to gain access to the cell phone and read out data when executing the manipulated GIF files at the end of 2019. However, only devices with older Android versions were affected.

So in order to prevent your WhatsApp messages from being read by others, you should always keep both the Android version and WhatsApp up to date by updating your smartphone.

Everyone reads WhatsApp Web on the PC

Another useful function is the ability to read your WhatsApp messages. With WhatsApp Web, the messenger can also be used conveniently in the browser on the PC. If you do not log out, other users on this computer will also have access to your chat history.

The connection between PC and WhatsApp account is established via a QR code. Again, you shouldn't give your mobile phone out of your hand to avoid others scanning your WhatsApp QR code. You can make sure directly in WhatsApp whether your account is logged into a browser:

  1. To do this, tap on the option in the chat overview WhatsApp Web.
  2. Here you can see the overview of the registered devices as well as the time of the last activity.
  3. If you tap on an entry, you log out of the corresponding platform.
  4. Alternatively, you can log in via Sign out of all devices the same from all WhatsApp web instances.

Conclusion: There is no legal method for reading WhatsApp messages unnoticed. Monitoring is a criminal offense without the consent of the account holder. With consent, there is no need for cumbersome detours, after all, you can have the cell phone put in your hand. You should refrain from various offers that allegedly want to offer access to third-party WhatsApp accounts. In addition to punishment, there is a risk of subscription traps, hidden costs or viruses with various WhatsApp spy services.

Elsewhere we have further tips on how to protect your cell phone against spy apps.