Google Search is now indexing WhatsApp group chat links on the web making it discoverable and accessible to everyone.
According to the Journalist Jordan Wildon, the WhatsApp “Invite to group Link” feature lets Google list the groups on the Internet as these links are shared outside of WhatsApp’s secure private messaging service.
Motherboard reported that they were able to find certain private groups using specific Google searches and they were able to join a group that was intended for NGOs accredited by the UN and once they got in, they had access to all group members and their mobile numbers.
It is possible for WhatsApp group admins to invalidate a link to a chat if they want to, but in such cases, WhatsApp creates a new link. But WhatsApp group links come with warning labels attached with it, informing the person who generates the link to share it only with people whom he/she trusts.
WhatsApp has faced several security issues over the years. In 2018, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was the victim of a hack attempt by Saudi Arabia through a malware-infected WhatsApp message. And last year, a vulnerability that was discovered in the app was utilized by threat actors to inject spyware on Android and iOS phones through calls.