WhatsApp Begins Rolling Out End-to-End Encrypted Backups on iOS and Android

Facebook has announced that it has now begun rolling out End-to-End Encrypted Backups on iOS and Android devices.

Starting today, we are making available an extra, optional layer of security to protect backups stored on Google Drive or iCloud with end-to-end encryption. No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls and chat backups.

You can either set your own password, or let WhatsApp automatically generate a 64-digit encryption key on your device.

Whatsapp End-to-End Encrypted Backups

Facebook was under a lot of pressure in recent times to introduce this feature, so I’m glad to see it finally arrive now. Considering it has more than 2 billion users, this will be a slow rollout, starting with those who are running the latest version of WhatsApp on iPhones and Android devices. If you see this option, make sure to flip the switch right away.

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, writing for Motherboard:

FBI forensic expert Stephen Flatley lashed out at Apple, calling the company “jerks,” and “evil geniuses” for making his and his colleagues’ investigative work harder.

Sure, buddy. The people that are actually giving a fuck about customer privacy are “jerks” because it’s making your job harder to do.

That means, he explained, that “password attempts speed went from 45 passwords a second to one every 18 seconds,” referring to the difficulty of cracking a password using a “brute force” method in which every possible permutation is tried. There are tools that can input thousands of passwords in a very short period of time—if the attempts per minute are limited, it becomes much harder and slower to crack.

Yeah, no shit, Sherlock!