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Signal debunks online rumours of zero-day security vulnerability

Over the weekend, rumours started circulating on social networks about an unpatched security hole in the Signal messaging app. According to these rumours, a remote hacker could exploit this flaw to take control of your smartphone. The rumours quickly spread beyond the cybersecurity community and reached the wider public. They claimed that the vulnerability was related to Signal’s “Generate Link Previews” feature. However, upon closer examination, it became clear that these rumours lacked any real details or evidence of a zero-day vulnerability. Signal itself confirmed this, stating that it had seen no evidence of the vulnerability and had checked with people across the US government who also had no information suggesting the claim was valid.

Some individuals did question the rumours and asked for more details or a reliable source to confirm the issue. However, those who sought clarification were met with vague references to unnamed sources or claims from a trusted individual. In reality, there was no concrete evidence to support the alleged vulnerability. Additionally, the claim that the link preview feature of Signal could be linked to the vulnerability seemed unlikely. While other messaging apps have been found to reveal a user’s location through preview links, Signal generates link previews before the link is sent, not after. Disabling “link previews” in Signal only prevents their creation on the user’s device, but they can still be received from others.

Signal took to Twitter to address the rumours, stating that it had found no evidence of the vulnerability and had consulted with individuals in the US government, as the rumours claimed USG as a source. According to Signal’s President, Meredith Whittaker, the viral and vague nature of the report resembled a disinformation campaign. It is unclear whether the rumours were started maliciously or not, but it is evident that Signal has enemies who would be eager to tarnish its reputation.

While the rumours may have been baseless, it is always important to prioritize safe computing practices. Users should ensure that their privacy settings are configured correctly and that their apps are regularly updated to protect against any potential vulnerabilities.

Key points:
1. Rumours of an unpatched security hole in Signal circulated on social networks over the weekend.
2. The rumours claimed that a remote hacker could exploit the vulnerability to take control of smartphones.
3. Signal found no evidence of the vulnerability and consulted with individuals in the US government to verify the claim.
4. There were no concrete details or evidence to support the alleged vulnerability.
5. Safe computing practices, such as configuring privacy settings and updating apps, should always be followed.

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