2.11.8 (iOS ) March 17, 2014

2.11.662 ( Blackberry) March 14, 2014

2.11.398 ( Symbian) March 2014

2.11.356 ( Windows Phone ) January 10, 2014

WhatsApp is an internet-based, cross-platform instant messaging service for the exchange of text messages, images, video and sound files as well as location information between users of mobile devices such as smartphones. The Californian company Whatsapp Inc. provides this the actual application program Whatsapp messenger for various smartphone operating systems to download (the app that is also found in the name) and also runs the Internet server through which the messages from the sender to the receiver device be routed. The long time totally free, but now partially fee-based service is attributed to the extensive replacement of the SMS. To use after installing the app a registration, stating the own phone number is required, and the company knows by already known, by default, read phone's address book entries from other Whatsapp users in most cases the real names of the Neubenutzers already.

Whatsapp has recorded 2014 450 million members until spring and was considered the fastest growing Internet service history. The evaluation of the service is controversial since the beginning of 2014, after the company Facebook Whatsapp Inc. had bought for an extremely highly regarded sum of 19 billion U.S. dollars. Cited were mainly concerned about a possible commercial re- use of private user data, ensure privacy and informational self-determination of the users, and in terms of the resulting quasi- monopoly of Facebook in social networking and mobile text-based communication ( messaging). Some commissioners and data protection experts called for, not to use the mobile applications from both companies and if possible switch to European competition provider.


The company WhatsApp Inc. was founded in Santa Clara, California from Jan Koum and Brian Acton, 2009.

WhatsApp had in February 2014 more than 450 million users who were active at least once per month. The name is a pun: What's app sounds like English ("What 's going on? ", " What's going on ?") And includes the abbreviation app ( "Application") " What's up? ".

On February 19, 2014, the US-based Facebook Inc. Whatsapp Inc. for a total of 19 billion U.S. dollars bought ( 13.81 billion euros ), broken up into 4 billion in cash and Facebook shares in the residual value. In the course of the sale WhatsApp co-founder January Koum changes to the Facebook board of directors. As part of the reporting on the Facebook takeover in February 2014 were in the media often privacy advocates and data protection officer cited with the recommendation not to use these services to WhatsApp and instead encrypted services such as Threema, sure spot to use Chat Secure or telegram as WhatsApp not sufficiently secure end-to -end encryption provides, and can not be ruled out that Facebook would exploit the data of WhatsApp users for commercial purposes.


Whatsapp is unlike no separate SMS service of mobile operator, but uses the Internet. The application belongs to the group of instant messaging programs. It uses the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol ( XMPP ). Whatsapp is available for the operating systems Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry, Symbian, Nokia Series 40, Windows Phone and Meego. On Windows, MacOS or in web browsers, you can use Whatsapp only with the help of Android emulators. Also WhatsApp is available on the mobile operating system Firefox OS only with a special, not officially supported by WhatsApp webapp. In this case the user must take a certain disadvantages.

In addition to sending text and voice messages, there is the opportunity to share photos, contact, video and audio files as well as inform their own location, which was determined by GPS. Whatsapp reads data from the address book of the phone so that the user must disclose their address data for Whatsapp, also users who are not even registered with Whatsapp.


Whatsapp can also relate to the official distribution channel for the respective platforms. For users with Apple iOS Whatsapp is free downloadable since 17 June, 2013, the subscription model occurs, as with Android, after a year in power. Users who bought Whatsapp before July 17, 2013, will receive a lifetime license.

Users of the Android platform is offered free usage for a year, then to a fee of 0.99 U.S. $ (0.89 € / year) to be paid. However, Whatsapp did not exercise at the beginning of this possibility, that is, the program was permanently free of charge. Use on Windows Phones is free until 2021. Whatsapp justified the complicated pricing structure several times by the different commissions and payment policies of distribution platforms.

Whatsapp was blocked several times by mobile phone companies. Under certain circumstances, the booking of a special tariff option is necessary to be able to use these services like, so that the network operators want to compensate for their losses in revenue by sending SMS. In September 2012, the biggest failure has been known in which a large proportion of customers of Telekom Germany not send messages via Whatsapp and could receive.


In the meantime (as of March 2013) are sent every day more than seventeen billion messages via Whatsapp. Thus the number of daily news was more than tenfold within ten months ( October 2011-August 2012 ). According App Monitor Germany the magazine Focus, in September 2012, about 42.9 percent of the Android smartphone users the WhatsApp Messenger. Whatsapp has in Germany claims to be from January 16, 2014 more than 30 million active users.

The Swiss mobile operator Swisscom recorded during the festive season of 2012 compared to the previous year, a decline of SMS messages sent by 10 to 65 million. The Swisscom explains this through the increased use of WhatsApp and other services.

Security / criticism

In May 2011, a vulnerability was discovered that allowed the Apply User Account by unauthorized persons. In Whatsapp incurred conversations were unencrypted sent and received in plaintext, which is why they were mitlesbar to unauthorized persons. Since August 2012, the conversations of users were sent encrypted.

On January 6, 2012 Unknown published a website that made ​​it possible to change the status of any WhatsApp user under the condition that his phone number was known. According to the hacker in this case only one of many other vulnerabilities were exploited. On January 9, 2012 reported the Whatsapp Inc. that the affected site would be permanently deleted; However, blocking the IP address of the website was the only measure that had been hit. In response, a Windows application was made ​​available for download, with which this blockade could be circumvented by hackers.

A few days later, on 13 January 2012 Whatsapp disappeared without giving reasons from the Apple App Store. The developer of Whatsapp filed a new version of the app from Apple, which was included in the App Store.

In May 2012, the Stiftung Warentest criticized the data transmission performance of the app, as these all stored phone numbers ( which are used in Whatsapp as user IDs ) unencrypted to the Whatsapp server transfers and awarded the verdict " very critical " Even in a rapid test in February 2014 got the app the judgment " very critical " in the field of data protection.

In September 2012, it was announced that allows foreign accounts with capers easily accessible information. Meet this purpose under Android the phone number of the user and the serial number ( IMEI ) of its smartphones and iOS the MAC address of the WLAN interface. From both data can be combined with a simple script the password to the account WhatsApp calculated. A hacker has created a website through which can thus send messages from foreign accounts. The temporarily closed vulnerability occurred in November 2012 again.

On 24 July 2013, the Berlin Security firm Curesec published a vulnerability that makes it possible to come into the possession of payments data for Google Wallet and PayPal in the payment process of the chat application.

On 8 October 2013, managed a group of hackers that calls itself Palestinian hackers, a DNS server to manipulate so that he. An incorrect IP address for the domain back WhatsApp supplied ( DNS spoofing )

Thijs Alkemade, the chief developer of the instant messaging client Adium, is of the opinion that the encryption of the message should be regarded as weak and as compromised as the weak RC4 algorithm and in both directions of communication, the same key, initialization vector and HMAC key had been used.

Dutch and Canadian authorities investigate the company for breach of data protection rules. Whatsapp also accesses information about non-users of the service, and stores them. In addition, the security of the messages is still uncertain.

Open Whatsapp Project

The Open Whatsapp Project is an open-source reimplementation of the WhatsApp client software for mobile phones by an independent group of Whatsapp. Originally designed for the Nokia N9, which officially does not support Whatsapp, this software has been ported to other software platforms, such as the operating system BlackBerry 10. It is merely a client software for each mobile device, which only provides the service of Whatsapp. To follow all the privacy and security risks remain even with this solution.