Chat Manipulation Affecting Critical Infrastructure Operation

ICS Cybersec 2018 Conference, Thursday, October 11, 2018, 11:25

Roman Zaikin and Dikla Barda, recently unveiled new vulnerabilities in the popular messaging application that could allow threat actors to intercept and manipulate messages sent in both private and group conversations, giving attackers immense power to create and spread misinformation from what appear to be trusted sources.

They observed three possible methods of attack exploiting this vulnerability – all of which involve social engineering tactics to fool end-users. A threat actor can:

  1. Use the ‘quote’ feature in a group conversation to change the identity of the sender, even if that person is not a member of the group.
  2. Alter the text of someone else’s reply, essentially putting words in their mouth.
  3. Send a private message to another group participant that is disguised as a public message for all, so when the targeted individual responds, it’s visible to everyone in the conversation
Roman Zaikim

Roman Zaikim

Head of cyber division & Check point Security expert


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