Hundreds of Thousands of Private WhatsApp Groups Spread on Google

WhatsApp illustration

Be careful if you have a private WhatsApp group. The reason is, strangers can enter your group without permission. The reason is, recently it was discovered that there were hundreds of thousands of links that the WhatsApp group entered in Google’s search index and spread.

WhatsApp illustration

Thus, even strangers can freely enter into private groups as long as they have the link. This was first revealed by a journalist from Germany, Jordan Wildon. Through a tweet in his Twitter account, Jordan uploaded a picture that proves the many links of Whatsapp group invitations that are spread freely in Google search. “Your Whatsapp group might not be as safe as you thought,” Jordan wrote.

This security gap was later strengthened by the findings of an App Reverse analyst named Jane Wong. Jane confirmed there were more than 470,000 Whatsapp group links that she found when entering the keyword “Site: chat. Whatsapp .com” on Google.

Then the Motherboard technology site, also tried a similar method and successfully entered into a number of groups through indexed links on Google. The motherboard can even get a complete list of group members and their telephone numbers.

WhatsApp spokesperson, Alison Bonny, said that WhatsApp users are indeed not allowed to share group links to pages or sites that can be accessed by the public. He also said, all content shared on public sites can be easily traced through search engines. Summarized from The Verge, Thursday (2/27/2020), Danny Sullivan as Google Public Search Lialison gave a statement through his personal Twitter account.

He said, search engines like Google can indeed list content that comes from the public web. “That’s what’s happening here. It’s no different from any case where a site allows a URL to be registered publicly,” Danny said. He also advised users to use the Google help center to block the content.

From observation, at this time the search using the keyword “site:” on Google can no longer be accessed by users. Even so, until now users can still search for group links through several other search engines such as Bing, Yandex and DuckDuckGo.

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