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WhatsApp reduces Spam despite of end to end encryption

Amna Ansar Feb 03, 2017
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Have you ever heard of a spam filter work without reading the content of messages?

But according to WhatsApp it is true to extent. Because of introducing end-to-end encryption WhatsApp became most popular company of 2016.

Encryption means no one can read the content of your messages not even WhatApp except the person whom you have sent the message.

Introduction to end to end encryption arise the practical concerns and political concerns as well. Despite of the advantages of the encryption it also has disadvantages. Because more privacy can also arise the spam issues. If WhatsApp can’t read the messages for suspicious contents, then how WhatsApp will filter the messages properly?

Spammers have harmed the WhatsApp more than the shutdowns ordered by the court. WhatsApp engineer Matt Jones said that whats app have originated different perspectives to deal with the spam without using the content of messages. Jones added that spam has been reduced by 75% since the time end-to-end encryption has been introduced

Jone said at UNSENIX Enigma security conference that it is easy to detect spam if one has well developed behavioral features. Whatsapp observes the number of messages sent by the user per minute. In addition, WhatsApp also utilizes many other strategies to determine the spam in messages.

The simplest approach is looking for the position of the things sender is using, Jones added. WhatsApp also inspects data related to internet service provider, the network being used by user, the phone number and then compares it with the spam made previously. If the data related to internet service provider, phone number (even first digits of number) or network are matching with previous spam, then it is expected that messages sent by these users are also based on spam. WhatsApp also notices the user sending messages through WhatsApp from one country to other for example from Australia to Germany.

Once the spammer is detected, the WhatsApp go through all the circumstances that why the spammer was not caught before. If WhatsApp detects any spam, it does not allow that user to use WhatsApp and bans him. Jones said that if the ban is imposed incorrectly then we cut the ban.Jones said finally we will catch spam and if you are spamming you will be get banned by the company.

End-to-end encryption only secures the messages been sent not the metadata. OWS (Open Whisper System) doesn’t consider metadata as its users. The only information they share is about last online time and date of the creation of account. It seems that with the growth of OWS the spam problems will increase.

Jones said that WhatsApp Company has thought to heap those categories of metadata which are not useful in spam prevention.

Some of the organizations hesitate to use end-to-end ncryption because according to them it will limit them to fight with spam. But after the description of Jones it might help other companies as well.

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