WhatsApp allows users to delete messages for “everyone”, but sometimes that gets annoying because we’re all curious about what’s been sent. It seems that there is an app on Google Play app store called WAMR which allows users to check deleted messages. At the time of writing, the app published by ‘drilens’ is still available for download on the App Store and has over 50 million installs. However, experts are now warning against this app as it endangers users’ online privacy.

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What does WAMR do?

WARM’s official Google Play listing notes that the app requires the phone to be running on Android 5 and above, and its size is 16MB. The developer explains that WAMR does not access WhatsApp chats because the messages are encrypted. However, it keeps track of notifications, so if a message is deleted before users see it, WAMR will have a record of notification history. It “will also try to save any media attached to the message, and if the sender deletes it, you’ll get a notification.”

The app’s Google Play listing notes some limitations. For example, if a chat is archived forever, WAMR will not work because no notification will be received. The listing further notes, “If messages are not saving, it may be due to Android killing WAMR. Please remove WAMR from all battery optimization services.”

Why do experts warn against WAMR?

According to a report by a security journal, cybersecurity experts from the International Institute of Cybersecurity (IICS) consider the app risky as it requires access to several settings. Once users grant access to gallery, network and notifications, the risk of data leakage increases. The report notes that the app is not “malicious”, but accessing notifications could reveal sensitive data.

The report notes that this is a security risk because “users who install this application [WAMR] need to grant you extended permissions, which could compromise data used by other applications, files stored in the device’s memory, Internet search histories, and even the contact list of device users. “

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