According to a report, the Federal Criminal Police Office is able to read encrypted WhatsApp chats. And that’s how it works.
Encrypted WhatsApp chats are not safe from the eyes of the Federal Criminal Police Office. At least that is what the joint research of the BR and WDR showed, according to which BKA officials have been able to read these WhatsApp chats for years without great effort – despite all the security measures at Whatsapp that are supposed to prevent eavesdropping on the news. A relatively simple trick, as they say, would be used. So there is no need to install spy software like the often-called “state trojan” on the device of the person who needs to be spied on.
The trick: Investigators use Whatsapp Web to read the suspect’s chats. So a service offered by Whatsapp to its users to exchange Whatsapp messages with each other via the Internet browser. Investigators would only have to briefly gain access to a suspect’s smartphone. Then they can synchronize the chats with Whatsapp Web and then monitor all incoming and outgoing messages from the suspect. This way, the investigators also have access to all contacts of the target person.
The report quotes from an internal letter from the BKA, which states: “The BKA has a method that can enable text, video, image and short voice messages to be reproduced in real time from a WhatsApp account.”
The BKA has apparently been using the method since 2018, when another terrorist suspect was investigated after the attack on Breitscheidplatz by terrorist Anis Amri in Berlin. The BKA had feared that a person connected to Amri could also carry out a terrorist attack and was looking for ways to monitor the man’s Whatsapp communication.
In order to use this method, the BKA requires a judicial decision in accordance with paragraph 100a of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which permits the target person’s telecommunications monitoring. But it is not a means of surveillance, such as when using a state trojan. The BKA did not want to comment on this type of WhatsApp monitoring vis-à-vis the BR and WDR, and the reason for this was that no detailed public information on such monitoring methods was made. According to security experts, this form of WhatsApp monitoring has so far only been used very rarely at the BKA. (PC world)