1. wadoubts's Avatar
    Hi, sorry if this was already asked or if this isn't the right place, but I couldn't find these exact answers anywhere.

    I've been wondering if there is any way to truly erase messages/conversations from WhatsApp, or at least make them unusable for spyware like Pegasus or for forensic analysis, so I'd like to ask if anyone here knows the answers to these questions:

    0. Is the Pegasus spyware capable of acessing deleted messages or conversations from Whatsapp?
    1. If I delete some Whatsapp messages and let the local db files and Google Drive backups be overwritten after some time or even manually remove those backups, would that stop something like Pegasus from accessing those deleted messages?
    2. If not, would a factory reset make those messages inaccessible to Pegasus - at least after some period of time and if there were no online backups to restore them? What about to forensic technicians, for instance? Would they be useless to them too?
    3. If deleted messages are still stored but just marked as removed on Google Drive's backups, is there a way to truly eliminate that backup or at least make it inaccessible to both Pegasus and forensic technicians?
    4. Finally, would encrypting then decrypting a phone erase deleted Whatsapp messages?

    Thank you very much in advance.
    06-19-2021 12:26 AM
  2. mustang7757's Avatar
    [ Hi, Moved this from Android security talk to Apps Forum ]
    wadoubts likes this.
    06-20-2021 06:26 PM
  3. wadoubts's Avatar
    Sorry for posting in the wrong place and thank you for correcting it, mustang7757.

    So, anyone has any ideas?
    mustang7757 likes this.
    06-21-2021 01:50 AM
  4. Kizzy Catwoman's Avatar
    I would imagine that encrypted messages stay encrypted unless they have access to your phone. If you delete WhatsApp messages I should imagine they are wiped but why would you be worried about Pegasus unless you are doing something shady? The services would need a warrant to search your phone anyway.
    wadoubts likes this.
    06-21-2021 07:32 AM
  5. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    Sorry for posting in the wrong place and thank you for correcting it, mustang7757.

    So, anyone has any ideas?
    You mean like you’re El Chapo level concerned? That’s one level, the other level is more like the husband/wife level of concern… Either way, don’t ignore the physical surveillance too…
    wadoubts likes this.
    06-21-2021 01:28 PM
  6. wadoubts's Avatar
    Thank you very much Kizzy and Chuck Finley for your answers.

    So, without getting too much into politics, since after all this isn't a place for that, my country is pretty much guaranteed to become a military dictatorship in one or two years, with support of pretty much all the police forces, the armed forces, more than half the religious leaders, most of the television networks, a bought majority in Congress, and a LOT of support in the justice system, besides a fanatical and rabid support from about a third of the population.
    The situation right now is he's either going to lose the next elections (the most likely option) and stage a coup with the armed forces or win reelection and consolidate power - becoming full blown authoritarian, with even less checks and balances.
    People VERY close to this specific leader have been reported by the numerous press channels to be negotiating bringing Pegasus from Israel, they admitted to do so publicly, and his government has been recently making lists of people speaking ill of him on Facebook - the responsible for that went on the Congress with the list, it didn't even leak-, for instance to inflame his followers against those people. Then, they've started using the federal police to accuse these people of slander... And now he wants people who speak ill of the armed forces to be judged by military tribunals.
    There is a LOT more (and a lot worse) going on, but I don't want to fill the forum with politics, I'm just trying to give the context here.

    You'd think that random people speaking ill of him, like me and a small group of friends, wouldn't really be an issue, but the thing is he's infamous for his "smoke screens" to deviate attention from his main issues when something looks bad: you know, create controversy or a enemy to grab headlines and divert attention from the main issue.
    Most of my friends and aren't really famous or relevant, but at least 2 of them are: usually, we shouldn't have to worry about this, but these 2 or 3 are not only reasonably relevant in their areas, but the "groups" or "categories" that they belong to are considered mortal enemies by this government. One of them, for instance, is a man married to another man involved in journalism, which this government absolutely hates with a passion.

    Anyway - and sorry once again for the huge rant -, we made the mistake of trusting WhatsApp to speak about people in power that are EXTREMELY dangerous. Usually, we'd be just random people, irrelevant, but this is about to change.
    So I'd like to know how to eliminate those conversations (if possible) or at least make them unusable if one of us is eventually targeted - since getting the conversations of one of us exposes all.
    And there's the fact that part of that group isn't exactly "tech savy", which was why I was asking if deleted things would eventually "naturally" be overwritten or rendered unusable.

    So, what should I do to guarantee that those conversations are gone from my phone, since I don't use any remote backups?
    And to the people who did, how do I help them eliminate it or overwrite it safely on Google Drive?
    Also, does anyone know if those deleted conversations are still on WhatsApp/Facebook servers? Are they accessible with a warrant?
    If yes, does FB/WA usually gives access to those to any government?

    In short, how do I protect myself and my friends if this is possible?

    Thank you very much and sorry for the huge message (and off-topic part).
    06-22-2021 01:57 AM
  7. encelle111's Avatar
    Wadouts, looks like you are describing the US past 7 months.
    07-22-2021 09:59 PM
  8. encelle111's Avatar
    Are you Tucker Carlson and are you referring to remarks you made about AOC?
    07-22-2021 10:07 PM
  9. vimagreg's Avatar
    Thank you very much Kizzy and Chuck Finley for your answers.

    So, without getting too much into politics, since after all this isn't a place for that, my country is pretty much guaranteed to become a military dictatorship in one or two years, with support of pretty much all the police forces, the armed forces, more than half the religious leaders, most of the television networks, a bought majority in Congress, and a LOT of support in the justice system, besides a fanatical and rabid support from about a third of the population.
    The situation right now is he's either going to lose the next elections (the most likely option) and stage a coup with the armed forces or win reelection and consolidate power - becoming full blown authoritarian, with even less checks and balances.
    People VERY close to this specific leader have been reported by the numerous press channels to be negotiating bringing Pegasus from Israel, they admitted to do so publicly, and his government has been recently making lists of people speaking ill of him on Facebook - the responsible for that went on the Congress with the list, it didn't even leak-, for instance to inflame his followers against those people. Then, they've started using the federal police to accuse these people of slander... And now he wants people who speak ill of the armed forces to be judged by military tribunals.
    There is a LOT more (and a lot worse) going on, but I don't want to fill the forum with politics, I'm just trying to give the context here.

    You'd think that random people speaking ill of him, like me and a small group of friends, wouldn't really be an issue, but the thing is he's infamous for his "smoke screens" to deviate attention from his main issues when something looks bad: you know, create controversy or a enemy to grab headlines and divert attention from the main issue.
    Most of my friends and aren't really famous or relevant, but at least 2 of them are: usually, we shouldn't have to worry about this, but these 2 or 3 are not only reasonably relevant in their areas, but the "groups" or "categories" that they belong to are considered mortal enemies by this government. One of them, for instance, is a man married to another man involved in journalism, which this government absolutely hates with a passion.

    Anyway - and sorry once again for the huge rant -, we made the mistake of trusting WhatsApp to speak about people in power that are EXTREMELY dangerous. Usually, we'd be just random people, irrelevant, but this is about to change.
    So I'd like to know how to eliminate those conversations (if possible) or at least make them unusable if one of us is eventually targeted - since getting the conversations of one of us exposes all.
    And there's the fact that part of that group isn't exactly "tech savy", which was why I was asking if deleted things would eventually "naturally" be overwritten or rendered unusable.

    So, what should I do to guarantee that those conversations are gone from my phone, since I don't use any remote backups?
    And to the people who did, how do I help them eliminate it or overwrite it safely on Google Drive?
    Also, does anyone know if those deleted conversations are still on WhatsApp/Facebook servers? Are they accessible with a warrant?
    If yes, does FB/WA usually gives access to those to any government?

    In short, how do I protect myself and my friends if this is possible?

    Thank you very much and sorry for the huge message (and off-topic part).
    Hey, dude, are you from Brazil, too? Look, I’m here too! Welcome aboard!

    Well, that said. Look, I really don’t trust WA. Not at all. So I simply stopped using it some time ago. That would be my first step. Second one: sorry, but if your fear is in that level, Android gadget is not for you. You should buy a Blackphone-like device in no time or, as in Brazil is a pain in the a** to find such devices, an iPhone for it is, at least, significantly harder to hack - yes, Pegasus got it too, but as I’m reading in The Guardian the back doors used are pretty much known as I write. I’m importing a PinePhone for this matter, personally - decided iPhone has not the security level I want. Linux. Cheap. Useful.

    And, finally, if you are so certain that being and his stupid horde will maintain the power by force, maybe it’s better to consider say bye bye and go out while still possible. That’s what I’ll be doing as soon as possible, as well.

    Hope I could help you.
    Yesterday 05:17 AM
  10. Freo D's Avatar
    What's app like Facebook stores data specific to you on device and in drive if synced. So if you didn't erase correctly which is a must, data could be restored in detail or enough meta to burn your *** without needing a warrant provided to Facebook.
    Fact is law enforcement have the tools to pretty much physically break into anything if they want to and anything you keep or don't erase can be accessed simple. Your countries specific laws play a big part though as in Australia the encryption privacy bill was put through the house of representatives over whelmely with not to many actually being aware !! It then hit the senate and only due to a previous bill overlapping a pushing final decisions back did bulk of Australians & politicians get a grasp then question the huge privacy issues at hand for all encryption used in Australia with the massive ramifications of the economical lost,Trust and confidence with many many things mostly security would be pointless. They spruked it as they always do saying it was for national interests, Terrorism criminal stuff to be legally able to force any entity or form of encryption to have a back door for them. It's in the senate now looking like it won't pass but I'd keep a eye out !
    Today 09:00 AM

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