Volume 2021, Issue 2
  • EISSN: 2616-4930


The purpose of the study is to investigate the behavioral aspects of WhatsApp Web QR code and its impact on privacy of users. WhatsApp is the fastest growing private online chat network for encrypted messaging. The role of QR code encryption in WhatsApp Web interface provide users with the ability to secure communication. It remains uncertain if the same trends occur in the encryption protocol. To strengthen user’s security and privacy, the cryptographic algorithm has been modified to protect from the attackers. The research was performed over a span of four months (July-October 2020) on experimental basis in India. All the observations and measurements were carried out using Mozilla Firefox web browser and the open source screen recording tool i.e. CamStudio. QR code decoding was performed in the ZXing decoder environment. This research examined the auto-change scale factor of the QR code in WhatsApp Web (A browser-based application of WhatsApp). The findings revealed that the QR code auto-change factor is 20 seconds while the QR code reload factor is 120 seconds. Evaluations showed that six consecutive QR code variations take place over each QR code reload period. Upon decoding the QR code of each set of QR code reload period, we observed that the parsed result of all QR codes were different. Each set of QR code reload period has six unique QR codes; even that doesn’t match the QR codes of the subsequent sets. Randomly changing QR codes are due to cryptographic algorithm that provides users for secure authentication and end-to-end-encryption.


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