The founder of the messaging app Telegram urged people to use “any messaging app” except WhatsApp to avoid their phones being hacked.
Pavel Durov cited a security issue revealed by WhatsApp last week that allowed a hacker to hijack a person’s phone by sending a malicious video to their number.
“Hackers can have full (!) access to everything on WhatsApp users’ phones,” he said in Telegram.Read:Syria steps up fuel rationing as shortages hit mobile network
“Every year we learn about some issues in WhatsApp that put everything on users’ devices at risk… It doesn’t matter if you are the richest person on earth – if you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, all your data can be accessed from every app on your device” .
The Russian tech billionaire, who is living in self-imposed exile from his homeland, has claimed that security flaws are “planted in back doors” to allow governments, law enforcement agencies and hackers to bypass encryption and other security measures.
Dorov previously claimed that “WhatsApp will never be secure” unless fundamental changes are made to how it works.
Telegram, known for its privacy-first approach to its app, has more than 700 million active users, with a steady growth of nearly 2 million daily users.Read:Baidu Q3 2022 preview: Is the worst over for the Chinese internet giant? (NASDAQ:BIDU)
This is still just a fraction of WhatsApp’s user base, which includes nearly 2 billion users worldwide. It is the world’s most popular messaging app ahead of China’s WeChat and Facebook Messenger, which like WhatsApp is owned by Meta.
“I’m not pushing people to switch to Telegram here… Telegram doesn’t need an additional upgrade,” Durov wrote.
“You can use any messaging app you want, but stay away from WhatsApp – it’s now been a monitoring tool for 13 years.”
independent Reach out to WhatsApp for comment.