Facebook announced this Friday (10) that WhatsApp will also offer end-to-end encryption for backups. The feature will come to Android and iOS smartphones, according to a post on the social network’s official blog.
With the new feature, users will be able to opt or not for end-to-end encryption when backing up messages, photos, videos, documents and audio exchanged by the app.
With the function enabled, the promise is that only the user will be able to read the content that was backed up. That is, with the technology, not even the service providers where the backups are (Google Drive and iCloud) will be able to read the information.
The new layer of protection appears precisely as a response to criticism from experts who said that despite the encryption in messages, users’ backup could be easily hacked, since it was done outside the app.
The novelty was tested for some time, and in the coming weeks it should reach everyone who uses WhatsApp.
How will it work?
The tool works from unique keys that will be randomly generated for each user. The keys can be protected manually or from a password generated by the person.
If the option is to use a password, that key will be stored in a Backup Key Vault, which is built around a component called a hardware security module (HSM), a hardware that is used to securely store encryption keys.
“When the account owner needs to access their backup, they can either access it with their encryption key or use their personal password to retrieve their encryption key from the HSM-based Backup Key Vault and decrypt their backup,” explained Facebook .
HSM-based Backup Key Vault will be responsible for imposing limits on password verification attempts and will make the key permanently inaccessible after a minimal number of unsuccessful attempts to access it.