WhatsApp is one of the biggest message platforms in the world. It has always prided itself on being reliable and secure. However, a recent incident that happened to Senior Amazon technical expert Abby Fuller, left many people wondering if their security is as good as they claim.
When Abby Fuller logged into WhatsApp with a new mobile number this month, she was shocked to see messages from someone she didn’t know waiting for her.
Confused as to what she was seeing, Abby took to social media to try and get some explanation. She discovered, however, that other users are having similar experiences.
Your Mobile Number Might Not Be New
Although Ms Fuller is using a new SIM card with a new mobile number. It doesn’t guarantee that the number hasn’t been used before.
If someone stops using their number, such as when a contract ends, then it goes back into the pool. FCC rules state these numbers can then be reused after 90 days.
WhatsApp Knows These Issues Exist
Purchased by Facebook in 2014, WhatsApp has many safeguards in place to prevent this from happening. It included end-to-end encryption introduced in 2016.
The service has always made it known that no messages are retained in its servers once they are delivered. However, there can be messages left behind, if users fail to migrate their WhatsApp account to their new number.
Even if the user fails to migrate their account, a WhatsApp failsafe is designed to monitor this. After 30 days of inactivity, the system will remove all the old data if someone tries to use that mobile number again.
One Potential Explanation
One theory seeks to explain these mysterious messages. It is possible that these messages were sent after the account was moved. WhatsApp searches your contacts for other WhatsApp users, and any mobile numbers in there might be linked to an old account.
The company advises that people delete any old mobile numbers from their phones. This will stop them from showing up if the numbers are then reused.