How Cloning have helped in access WhatsApp Chats in Sushant Singh Rajput’s Case.

Can higher authorities really access your WhatsApp account? This question might be coming in your mind after seeing the current news stories that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) summoned Deepika Padukone and other actors in the drug probe related to Sushant Singh Rajput death investigation based on WhatsApp chats.

The chats were sourced from the mobile phone of talent manager Jaya Saha. Well, many believe that it all happened using mobile phone cloning which isn’t a new technique as it has existed for years.

Mobile phone cloning has been in place foe quite some time, with cases registered against bad actors cloning phones in India dated back in 2005. It is a technique through which the data and the cellular identity of the phone being cloned is copied to a new phone. Although, cloning phones isn’t legal for individuals, authorities go through a forensic way to legitimately access user data stored on phones using a similar method. The process also enables transferring of the international mobile station equipment identity (IMEI) number that is unique in nature.

Experts in the domain highlight that phone cloning requires programming skills and just a few minutes of time to copy the entire identity data from one device to another. Earlier, physical access of the phone was required for copy the entire identity data from one device to another. Earlier, physical access of the phone was required for copying data.

Once the cloning process is done, WhatsApp chats appear to be accessed on the new phone by using one of recent backups stored on the cloud, either on google drive or on iCloud – depending on which phone, android or iPhone you have. When a phone number or SIM card associated with a particular account is used to register the account on a new phone, WhatsApp sends a temporary code via SMS or phone call to the phone number – which theoretically will be received by the cloned SIM. Users can also setup two-step verification, with a 6 digit password apart from the temporary code required to potentially prevent such abuse.

It is important to note WhatsApp chats are encrypted on your phone and end to end encrypted in transmission. But that is not the case with WhatsApp backups as those aren’t encrypted by the Facebook owned company. It is not that easy for anyone to extract your chats from the backup. However, phone cloning seems to allow transferring of chats from a recent backup.

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