EXPERTS believe they’ve found a way for WhatsApp to solve one of its biggest problems: scams.
Spam messages crafted by scammers are a problem for the platform, causing some victims to lose thousands of victims.
WhatsApp’s strong security, due to end-to-end encryption, makes it difficult to detect malpractice, unlike other open services.
But the researchers believe they have found a solution that could solve the problem.
They analyzed 2.6 million massive messages from more than 5,000 public WhatsApp groups about politics.
It is in such places that approximately one in ten texts is questionable.
From there, they looked for patterns in content, web links, and spam messages.
Job postings made up the largest amount of bric-a-brac at almost 30%.
The so-called “click and earn” – where people are told they can get rewarded – items for sale and giveaways in exchange for subscribing to something online also made the bad list.
The problem is that spammers are quite smart, as they post in many groups and are very fond of appearing and disappearing to avoid being found.
But researchers say the main sign to look out for is URLs and phone numbers.
Nine out of 10 junk messages contained one or both, so they built a system to eradicate spam based on that.
Although this may not entirely solve the problem, it could help WhatsApp administrators to detect possible scams early and remove them as soon as possible.
“Elimination of unwanted messages is key to improving the information consumption of people bombarded with spam and to reducing users’ economic concerns,” said Assistant Professor Kiran Garimella, of the Rutgers School of Communication and Information.
“Some spammers aim to steal users’ credit card information.
“Our methods are very practical and applicable.
“WhatsApp can apply them to stop the spread of spam in their groups, and our techniques can be used centrally across the platform while adhering to the end-to-end encryption safeguards WhatsApp offers users to protect their privacy. .”
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that WhatsApp will ever use this system.
It’s now up to WhatsApp to decide if it wants to look into their findings and use them.
The research was published on arXiv.
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