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WhatsApp yet to fix flaws that allow manipulation

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New Delhi: A new vulnerability surfaced in WhatsApp that can potentially allow hackers to manipulate messages. Any kind of message can be intercepted and the identity of the sender can be changed along with the text content of the messages.

This defect and vulnerability was discovered by Israeli cyber security firm Check Point Research and revealed via a press release. It also posted a video showcasing how the vulnerability can be exploited. With this security flaw, attackers can easily create and spread misinformation and make it appear as if it came from authentic sources. The firm was able to capture an outgoing message from WhatsApp and decrypt it. Then they could alter the contents at will and then encrypt it to send it forward.

Although the flaw has been partially fixed according to a report by Forbes, Check Point says that other issues need to be addressed soon. The firm says that it has informed WhatsApp about this vulnerability. Check Point was able to reverse-engineer WhatsApp’s encryption algorithm. By decrypting the data, the researchers got access to all the parameters being exchanged. This allowed them to alter these parameters to whatever they liked.

Checkpoint said it informed Whatsapp in 2018 about the vulnerabilities, which would enable threat actors to intercept and manipulate messages sent in private and group conversations, giving attacker’s power to create and spread misinformation from what appears to be trusted sources.

Notably, WhatsApp fixed the third vulnerability, which enabled threat actors to send a private message to a group participant disguised as a public message for all. But it is still possible to manipulate quoted messages and spread misinformation.

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Nasa finds Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram with help of Indian engineer

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New York: NASA has found the crash site and debris of India’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram moon lander following a tip from an Indian space enthusiast who examined pictures of the area of the moon taken by a US orbiting camera.

The site was located by Shanmuga Subramanian, who on his own scoured the pictures taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbital Camera (LROC), NASA and Arizona State University announced on Monday confirming the find.

The first mosaic image of the likely crash site made from pictures taken by the LROC on September 17 was downloaded by several people to look for signs of the Vikram, NASA said.

One of them, Subramanian, contacted the LROC project with a positive identification of debris, it said.

Arizona State University (ASU), where the LROC project is located, said: “After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images.”

When the images for the first mosaic were acquired on September 17, the impact point was poorly illuminated and could not easily be identified, it said.

But two image sequences were acquired on October 14 and 15, and on November 11 were better.

The November mosaic shows best the impact crater, ray and extensive debris field. The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and cast a one pixel shadow.

The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and casts a one pixel shadow.

The university said that based on Subramanian’s tip, the LROC team scoured the surrounding area in the new mosaics and found the impact site and the debris field.

The impact site is located at 70.8810 degree S, 22.7840 degrees E, at an elevation of 834 metres, it said.

“The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 metres northwest of the main crash site,” ASU said.

Vikram lost contact with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) following its launch from Chandraayan-2 moon orbiter on September 6 when it tried to make a softlanding near the moon’s south pole.

In a statement NASA said: “Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement.”

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