mercredi 7 mai 2014

whatsapp in north africa

Whatsapp in North Africa

  WhatsApp has become a very popular (read: FREE) alternative to traditional text messaging.  Over the past few years, many smartphone users have shifted from using BlackBerry Messenger and other instant messaging apps to WhatsApp. This is especially true for activists in much of the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The growing popularity is understandable considering that this cross-platform instant messaging application for smartphonesonly costs $0.99 for iPhone users and nothing for other platforms.  With more than 200 million active users monthly, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum boasted that “We’re bigger than Twitter today,” at a conference in April. According to company statistics, WhatsApp users are quite active - sending 12 billion and receiving 8 billion messages per day.   
With WhatsApp you can send free messages to friends, family, colleagues, etc. anywhere in the world.   In addition to messaging, you can create groups and exchange an unlimited number of images, video and audio media messages.  Sounds pretty great, right?
Unfortunately, WhatsApp is less than perfect when it comes to issues of privacy and security. In 2011, the app came under scrutiny when researchers found a security hole that left user accounts vulnerable.  Until August 2012, messages were sent in unencrypted plain-text format. Currently WhatsApp support staffclaim that messages are encrypted; however, they have not specified what type of cryptographic method is used. According to one blogger, WhatsApp tried to implement some level of cryptography in 2012, but researchers quickly found that they were using a broken system of RC4 ciphers. In addition, researchers found that anyone can hack into a user’s account by logging in with the MD5 hash of the reversed IMEI number.

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