WhatsApp is introducing end-to-end encrypted chat backups on iOS and Android to prevent anyone from accessing users’ chats.
The new feature allows users to perform end-to-end encryption of their chat backups, regardless of where they are stored. It allows users to assign a password known only to them for encrypting backups before they are uploaded to iCloud or Google Drive.
While Facebook said it will slowly roll out the feature to those using the latest version of WhatsApp, those interested in using the feature once it is rolled out on their device can do so by opening WhatsApp> Open Settings> Tap Chats> Chat Backup> End-to-end Encrypted Backup> Tap Continue (then follow the prompts and enter a password or key when asked)> Tap Done (wait for WhatsApp to prepare your end-to-end encrypted backup).
While WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted, the backups on iCloud and Google Drive are not. Therefore, they could theoretically be accessed by anyone who has access to a user’s mobile device, perform a man-in-the-middle attack, or takes over the number via a SIM swap attack.