WhatsApp banned by MOD

#1
Just seen on defence connect, posts saying WhatsApp is banned for all official MOD use, and should now be uninstalled from all MOD devices. No doubt the Chinese whisper effect will kick in and this will soon be a complete ban.
Few points.
Is this in response to a guardian article about how WhatsApp may have a backdoor in it so might not be fully end to end encrypted? If so, this seems a highly knee jerk reaction to an unfounded rumour, I'm sure if there is an issue WhatsApp will release a patch, or if is there is a backdoor it will be for govt/police access, not so that someone can hack into A Coy official chat group for what's happening tomorrow etc.
The MOD posts are saying to use defence connect instead, via the jive app. But jive isn't end to end encrypted, so less secure that WhatsApp.
Why post a message to get everyone to uninstall it from official devices, surely central IT can block apps just as they can block 'inappropriate content'? If they cant, and official devices are free to download and run any app they want, then surely that is a much bigger security problem than whether WhatsApp has a theoretical backdoor that no one has hacked yet?

I appreciate many here won't care as not serving anymore, so if the discussion dries up feel free to talk about other knee jerk reactions or MOD IT issues
 
#2
It might be because the MOD can't monitor what is being sent via it, and therefore is a security risk for deliberate leaks rather than hacking.
 
#5
Extract from one of the posts;

  • Although when a message is sent it is end to end encrypted, your communications are not protected on your phone, so if your device is compromised, an attacker has the ability to read your messages.
  • The metadata can be extracted when a message is sent, revealing some information from the device it is sent from.
Apparently it's in response to a DI paper written about it. All I can say is of course it's compromised if your phone is compromised, but so would jive, defence connect, armymail and anything else you use, especially as most people will get their browser to remember their login details for them. The point about meta data stands for DC and everything else as well.
I have contacts in DI, I'll speak to them tomorrow to see if they realise the chaos they've now caused, lol
 
#6
On Android it's comprised, uber troll John McAffee rather proved that one, but that is no surprise as it's a complete swiss cheese of security generally

But I'd guess the MOD maybe are worried about CatchApp ?,
 
#7
Wot's WhatsApp?
 
#9
It might be because WhatsApp works, the MoD isn't used to that feature when it comes to IT........
that's unfair, J chat* worked, and so did, erm, well.. that is to say.. I'll get back to you on that one




*not an app for looking for existing threads on a subject within arrse.
 
#10
Just as well the bans only for MOD devices.

The entire chain of command using it on their personal devices to organise work semi-effectively are unaffected.
I think you might be disappointed - we've been told no MOD business on whatsApp and that includes on personal devices>
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#11
1. The MOD have a legal obligation to store and have available for retrieval of information it produces which meets certain criteria. This covered under the Freedom of Information Act, the Environmental Information Act and the Public Records Act.

2.Too many fuckwhits in MOD think it doesn't apply to them and bypass the MOD provided tools to ensure compliance.

3. The consequence is when targeted requests are made, somehow the person knows exactly what is required, the MOD is unable to recover the information.

4. MOD becomes non-compliant and gets fined. All the ******* time.....

In short people employed within the MOD are, on the whole, ******* information monkeys and constantly fail to do what is mandated in various JSPs and SOPs.

The MOD gets spanked and everyone complains.

I may have had some experience in this area of having to recover from people's inability to understand that they have obligations and that ignorance is not an excuse. In addition "yes, that information is required by law because it was the supporting evidence to your decision". Record.... anyone.....
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
I think you might be disappointed - we've been told no MOD business on whatsApp and that includes on personal devices>
This will get more interesting if we are asked to make greater savings in the Official/Black tier and some loon veers away from COYD to BOYD and then tries to enforce these kind of policies.
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
2001. Moved back into the battalion sergeants mess from a posting and asked BT to install a phone line for internet. BT were fine. The Bn power did everything they could to stop it being installed. I was waiting for the accusation of 'You'll be on the phone to the Russians selling them our secrets.'
 
#15
I think you might be disappointed - we've been told no MOD business on whatsApp and that includes on personal devices>
The many work groups for any event or grouping of people across the military at all levels suggests it's a pretty unenforceable directive, since it's about the only way to effectively herd cats nowadays.
 
#16
The many work groups for any event or grouping of people across the military at all levels suggests it's a pretty unenforceable directive, since it's about the only way to effectively herd cats nowadays.
I don't disagree, but those in ivory towers at Andover/London seem to not understand this. Their credibility will be judged on how they solve the problem to make life work at the coalface.
 
#17
I'm currently in a couple of whatsapp groups.

Although one of them remains rigidly professional, the other ones quickly descended into banter nets.

Mass ridicule and general ripping of people none stop all day and every day, and the occasional rant.

There is nothing better than catching up with multiple messages of piss taking etc.

I can see why the Army are getting a sad on if people are using it for official business.

But they have absolutely no chance of ending the countless thousands of whatsapp groups used by the military to share banter/ info etc.

Unless they have some new über clever ECM kit that cancels whatsapp out.

I appears they already have some kind of ECM that targets morale directly and are improving it on a daily basis.
 
#18
@Guns I get that, really I do. But that would suggest that rather than stop using WA, and use DC/Jive instead, the message should be stop using WA/DC/Jive and use Dii. The MOD can't retrieve records/information from PMs in Jive or closed groups in DC for FoIA, DPA etc.
DC was built in response to reserves asking for JPA access at home. They dropped the JPA part mid development and claimed it a success even though it failed to deliver the one thing it was asked of. So it wasn't really provided by the MOD for official business (that's Dii) but is badged as a unit social tool.
 
#19
I don't disagree, but those in ivory towers at Andover/London seem to not understand this. Their credibility will be judged on how they solve the problem to make life work at the coalface.
Fair point. If a properly featured work version could be made it might have a chance to absorb the serious bits whilst WhatsApp is kept for the mocking and ridicule but the same weaknesses WhatsApp suffers from identified in that DI report would be just as present in whatever they make.
 
#20
However did we survive with regular briefings, the odd hand written memo or LM and a decent dose of common sense?

And before anyone says that everything is more complicated these days I recall the Operations bit of MOD (pre PJHQ) managing quite a lot of activity including the nuclear deterrent, SF ops, Bosnia, SL etc all without IT.
 
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