Hackers step up obfuscation attacks to break into IT networks

by | Jan 7, 2021 | IT Security

Cybercriminals are introducing obfuscation-as-a-service to enable novice hackers on the dark web to make hard-to-break infiltration into corporate networks.
Share to lead the transformation

In 2020, cyber-attacks reached a new scale, disrupting the business community and Information security professionals. Malware, phishing, denial of service attacks, DNS tunneling, SQL injection, and zero-day exploits have seen a massive explosion in every large organization. According to a report from antivirus, cloud, and endpoint security firm McAfee, since 2018, the cost of global cybercrime has reached over $1 trillion. If that wasn’t enough, the industry has noticed a new pattern of cybercriminals investing in plug-and-play obfuscation software-based toolkits to infect corporate networks for financial gains. (See: Top enterprise cybersecurity trends of 2020)

Obfuscation is a proven technology widely used by security professionals and coders to make the source code anonymous and incoherent. The technique helps businesses secure their critical data and prevent hackers from using reverse engineering techniques to discover an enterprise network’s vulnerability and launch attacks.

The recent cyber intrusion in the software  IT monitoring and management software company Solarwinds was executed by an obfuscated advanced persistent threat (APT) that mysteriously took nine months to discover. (See: SolarWinds hack: CISOs need to revisit cyber resilience?)

However, as usual, hackers appear to be a step ahead of network protectors. Call it money as a motive or an innovative mindset; cybercriminals always develop enterprising ways to infiltrate defenses. Obfuscation-as-a-service is one such recently exposed illegal business model developed by cybercriminals. Professional hackers try to make money from selling such techniques on subscription-based models to other hackers.

As-a-service model for orchestrating a hack

Those who trust that the as-a-service models are currently only transforming legitimate business models will probably live on a different planet. Over the past few years, cybercrime as a service model is swiftly making inroads into the dark-web. Professional fraudsters and cybercriminals use illegal platforms to sell cyberattack tools, procedures, services, and a host of software programs to evade detection and launch fully automated cyberattacks.

Obfuscation-as-a-service model is operating on similar lines. In 2020, many instances were discovered by cybersecurity monitoring agencies and solution providers where hackers provided automated obfuscation service and android pocket kits (APKs) on a subscription basis to fraudsters. In the wake of a growing remote workforce, most organizations are introducing workplace productivity apps that can be accessed quickly by employees through their mobile phones. As such cracking mobile applications, especially android, through obfuscation has become a prime focus area for cybercriminals.

The entire business of purchasing and selling obfuscation service happens through illegitimate darknet marketplaces, making it very challenging for governments and law-enforcement authorities to keep a consistent track. This new development of obfuscation-as-a-service is perturbing for enterprises with global footprints, which have a massive amount of data located on different clouds. This unlawful cybercrime service model can give a ready-to-launch platform to even newbie cybercriminals who regularly exploit weaker networks.

What’s the remedy?

To protect networks from obfuscation techniques or deobfuscate malicious codes launched by hackers, organizations need to ensure the uppermost security level that fills the unwanted gaps. Applying integrity controls, encrypting as much as possible, transforming program codes and making them unintelligible, inserting anti-debugging logic are some of the fields that should be strengthened.

While there is no perfect solution that can give full-proof code security, a host of commercial tools can be tested and implemented to make your security architectures robust.

Most importantly, in 2021, organizations and cybersecurity leaders should set-up quality budgets to train their in-house talents and develop innovative solutions to fortify their resilience levels and mitigate new-age obfuscation security threats.


India needs a coherent industry approach for 5G success

India needs a coherent industry approach for 5G success

The last two decades have been instrumental in reshaping India’s economy. And the telecom sector has played a pivotal role in this transformation. From being voice dominated to data-centric, India’s telecom sector with over 1.17 billion connections has ensured businesses acquiring new capabilities, consumers obtaining new, exceptional services and resources. The industry is now keenly looking at the launch of 5G services to enter the next growth phase.

India’s top telecom operators have recently announced their plans to launch 5G this year. While Bharti Airtel has recently tested its live 5G network in Hyderabad using 1800 MHz spectrum, last year, Reliance Jio too had revealed its plans to launch 5G in the latter half of 2021 using standalone architecture.

There has been an upward trajectory of the learning curve, which has significantly helped the telecom sector attract global investments. Even during the COVID-19, the telecom sector, with its profound penetration of low-cost data and voice calls, kept the economy afloat and built necessary resilience. However, the 5G technology in India could realistically take at least a couple of years to make its emergence felt.  (See: Tipping point for 5G networks likely in 2023, says Report)

When introduced, 5G is likely to unleash the power of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the internet of things (IoT) to bring an altogether new era of hyper-user experience.

Laying the foundation for 5G success

Much of the 5G’s future in India would be dependent on the Indian government’s plan to leverage it for smart city services such as automating traffic signaling, street lighting, smart parking, real-time public transport information, and nursing public infrastructure through drones.

Unlike previous wireless standards, 5G needs a well-conceived industrial strategy. Many organizations are still grappling with limited device availability, policies and regulations, overhauling security architectures, and restricted use case success to form a concrete strategy around 5G.

While the Indian telcos may have set ambitious targets to be ready for commercial 5G services by the end of this year, the leap would be challenging, especially in the consumer segment, unless there is a broader range of affordable 5G devices are available.

Besides, the telecom operators, sitting on razor-thin margins, would need cost-effective but quality gear to support the new networks. This requirement could be well-supported by several flagship schemes launched by the Indian government, such as Digital India and Make in India.

Another crucial area for the success of 5G is the efficient and more customer-centric business models for enterprises. The fabric of business processes could get a turbo boost from AI-driven IoT.

While businesses are keen to know about the potential of 5G, they need to be made aware of the specific advantages offered by 5G compared to the legacy wireless technologies such as 4G and Wi-Fi. Telcos will need to demonstrate the successful use cases driven by 5G and its applicability in the Indian market. Otherwise, there is a fear that many enterprises could only see this up-gradation as an incremental improvement, which is not the case. (See: Here’s how 5G could be a catalyst for IIoT and Industry 4.0)

Resolving the telco’s dilemma

The immediate twelve months after the launch of 5G in India will be heavily focused on managing the cost and complexity of building out 5G networks, spectrum slabs, new revenue generation methodologies, and return on investment (RoI) for telecom operators.

They will also be under tremendous pressure to reimagine themselves as digital service providers while keeping a check on their operating expenses. From a user standpoint, considering the Indian economy’s price-conscious nature, telecom companies would need to reasonably launch their products and services without losing the quality quotient.

A well-crafted strategy, investment in new tools and network modernization, and comprehensive government policies will play a crucial role in addressing several of the above issues.

Learning from the global successes

In 2021, both enterprises and telecom service providers will be focusing on maintaining network services, deploying remote network monitoring solutions, expanding internet services, and undertaking research and deployments of global delivery centers.

The Indian government is also needed to develop innovative policy solutions to find the right spectrum price for forthcoming 5G auctions. Another most desirable attribute for 5G success is the availability of end-to-end solutions. Globally, many IoT-related developments are underway in remotely operated robotic surgeries, driverless vehicles, and several other connected devices and applications. India is likely to learn from the immersive experiences of global markets.

Moreover, telecom service providers will need further to develop their app ecosystems and partnerships with OTT players to garner more subscribers and ARPUs.

5G is likely to enable the next wave of industrial transformation with automated supply chain models and orchestration. However, the CIOs would look forward to lucid 5G plans from the telecom service providers rather than the transactional deliberations to achieve substantial outcomes from AI and IoT implementations.

TBZ CTO Dr. Pooran Jaiswal exits

TBZ CTO Dr. Pooran Jaiswal exits

Dr. Pooran Jaiswal

Dr. Pooran Jaiswal.

Dr. Pooran Jaiswal, Chief Technology Officer of Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) Limited, a leading jewelry brand, has quit the company. Dr. Jaiswal joined TBZ in 2018 and led IT budgeting and planning, technology improvement, and automation efforts at the jewelry retail chain.

TBZ has a presence in more than 29 Indian cities and is among the largest and oldest jewelers in the country.

Under Dr. Pooran Jaiswal’s leadership, TBZ, the 156-year-old jewelry major, enhanced several vital processes and improved customer experience by transforming its overall IT infrastructure and implementing robotic process transformation (RPT). He was instrumental in deploying Oracle’s Autonomous Database at TBZ, one of the first of its kind for any jewelry maker in Asia.

During his tenure at TBZ, Jaiswal also created a strong cloud strategy, moving the company’s workload-heavy processes to cloud-based infrastructure.

Jaiswal had also led several innovations such as testing and embedding small internet of things (IoT) devices in the premium jewelry category to analyze whether the jewelry had been tried, sold, or unsold.

Before joining TBZ, Dr. Jaiswal was CTO at Globus. With over 20 years of extensive experience in the IT industry, Jaiswal had earlier worked with Rediff and NIIT. It is not known yet if Jaiswal has accepted any new role, but if the industry buzz is to be believed, he is close to finalizing his next move.

About Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ)

Located in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, TBZ is part of the organized jewelry markets with a strong legacy of 156 years. Today, the company’s operations spread across 26 cities and 11 Indian states, covering a total retail space of 110,666 sq. ft.

Historically, TBZ was the country’s first jeweler to offer buy-back guarantees for jewelry purchased through their stores in 1938. The company primarily sells gold jewelry and diamond-studded jewelry through its 37 showrooms, including five franchise-operated stores.

For other recent C-Track movements, click here.

Jeff Bezos passes on the Amazon baton to Andy Jassy

Jeff Bezos passes on the Amazon baton to Andy Jassy

Jatinder SinghNot many were entirely surprised to hear about Amazon’s Jeff Bezos stepping down from the CEO role in the third quarter of 2021. While this may be the most significant leadership movement so far in 2021, industry onlookers had already started to bet on how long Jeff will continue at the helm of Amazon!

And why not? The technology industry has seen successful transitions at Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet, companies who have achieved even greater heights after their founder CEOs paved the way for fresh leadership.

The change, however, is an important event for Amazon’s stakeholders and employees who will be looking for a new chapter of growth under the leadership of Andy Jassy, who will succeed Jeff. Andy is currently heading Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud computing division.

Jeff Bezos will shoulder the Executive Chair’s role, a strategic advisor to the CEO, and focus on new products and early initiatives being developed by Amazon. Bill Gates at Microsoft, Bob Iger at Disney, and Eric Schmidt assumed similar roles after stepping down as CEOs from their respective companies.

Fresh leadership perspective

Jeff Bezos, 57, founded Amazon in a garage in 1994 and made it one of the giant multinational technology behemoths through his sheer grit and visionary leadership. Over the years, the company has expanded its orbit from just being the e-commerce player to music and video streaming, providing cloud computing services, robotics, artificial intelligence, and more. However, it looks like Jeff is now convinced to pass the baton to a new leader who can bring fresh perspective and innovations to take the growth ahead.

In his own words, despite the remarkable success Amazon had achieved, Jeff had admitted in 2018 that the company is far from invincible and might fail one day. “If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not hundred-plus years,” Jeff had reportedly said.

Jeff Bezos knows that one needs to keep on reinventing to achieve continuous success. By handing over the baton to a new but proven leader, Amazon perhaps wants to add more oomph and shelve the qualms, if any.

Growing focus on cloud

Andy Jassy’s elevation also reflects Amazon’s upping the value chain by leveraging cloud and artificial intelligence, to diversify and grow.

The last few quarters saw a tremendous boom in Amazon’s e-commerce and grocery business, mainly due to the pandemic induced lockdowns and stay at home advisories. But, there are many challenges that the company might need to tackle to achieve profits from its e-commerce business. There is growing competition, supply chain modernization tests, and continuous pressure from retailers to reduce margins. Most of the profit that Amazon earns today comes from AWS. (See: AWS pumps $2.77 bn in India to retain cloud supremacy)

Amazon’s cloud business is the company’s cash cow division and achieving stellar heights. Currently, AWS contributes over 50% of Amazon’s operating income. AWS has clocked $12.7 billion in revenue, up from $9.95 billion a year earlier. In the wake of the growing distributed workforce environment, enterprises are quickly embracing cloud computing services to upsurge agility, deliver innovations, and modernize their infrastructure.

Clearly, Jeff Bezos and Amazon are betting big on the data and computing power in the new decade and aims to pull new rabbits out of the hat for accomplishing greater heights.


India’s Union Budget is a plus for DX, gig economy

India’s Union Budget is a plus for DX, gig economy

India has announced its 2021-22 Union Budget on 1 February 2021 amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. This year’s budget stands out in several announcements that accelerate the country’s digital transformation efforts in the gig economy. The tech industry seems to be enthralled with these announcements and terming them as a massive boost for the country’s self-reliant objectives.

At Better World, we’ve captured the budget’s key points that are likely to support the tech and digital community.

Firming the start-up culture by reducing compliance on OPC

This year’s budget provides Rs 15,700 crores to the MSME sector. One of the significant highlights is the decision to incentivize One Person Companies (OPCs) by permitting OPCs, to grow without any paid-up capital and turnover thresholds. The residency limit for an Indian citizen who plans to set up an OPC has been minimized to 120 days from 182 days, and now Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) can also incorporate OPCs.

NRIs were previously not allowed to set up OPCs. However, with the new provision, any Indian citizen, whether resident in India or otherwise, can form an OPC. The country currently has about 30,000 OPCs in operation. This move is expected to give a much-needed boost for many OPCs and likely help new tech startups to emerge, helping to transform the economy.

The government also extended the eligibility for start-ups to claiming tax holiday and capital gains exemption for investment by another year – till 31 March 2022.

Social security for gig economy workers

The government has announced its plans to unveil a website to collect appropriate information on the country’s gig-workers and migrant workers so that it can implement robust social security schemes for them. Including gig-workers and freelancers in the government’s social security plan is highly crucial as the gig-economy size is expected to grow at a considerable level in the next five years, touching about $500 billion market size. 

The concept of the distributed workforce has evolved from just an experimentation phase and most of the companies who are pacing their digital transformation efforts are at much ease to onboard contractual employees from anywhere in the world.

Gig-economy offers advantages such as flexibility to employees, especially in the areas of HR, IT, and creative to work as per their convenience by leveraging the latest technology tools. The mushrooming parallel economy, however, has been facing a lot of struggle to attract talented young people since it doesn’t offer any kind of social protection such as retirement benefits, leave benefits or minimum wages to date.

Indian government’s planned reforms would be of particular importance as they will enable the government to develop more structured health, wellness, and insurance policies for the country’s growing independent workers and freelancers. 

Greater focus on research and development

The government has set aside Rs 50,000 crores in Budget 2021 for the National Research Fund (NRF), spreading across the next five years. The outlay will promote a culture of innovation, digital transformation, research, and growth in a coordinated way. It will also be used to build research capabilities at major universities and colleges. “In my July 2019 budget speech, I had announced the NRF. We have now worked out the modalities, and the NRF outlay will be Rs. Fifty thousand crores over five years. It will ensure that the overall 24 research ecosystem of the country is strengthened with a focus on identified national-priority thrust areas,” Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Finance Minister revealed during the budget presentation. (See: Ravindra Kumar, President, IIT Delhi Alumni Association)

Proposal for world-class fintech hub at GIFT City

Another big announcement that has pleased the technology sector observers is the government’s announcement to set-up a premier fintech hub in planned Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) city. Located on the bank of the river Sabarmati, the GIFT City is the government’s ambitious Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project, encompassing over 886 acres of land in Gujarat and includes commercial spaces, residential apartments, schools, hospitals, hotels, clubs, retail, and various recreational facilities. “This is a great step and demonstrates the government’s recognition of FinTech as a significant play in the financial sector. This should pave the road for the creation of the required regulations and frameworks for FinTech to work with conventional lenders and banks,” said Lalit Mehta, Co-founder & CEO of Decimal Technologies.

Digitization of railways

In another significant announcement to propel digital transformation in the country’s economic milieu, Rs 1.15 lakh crores have been earmarked for railways. A substantial proportion of these funds will be utilized for creating future-ready railway systems by the year 2030, ensuring robust connectivity and the use of technology to make rail transport safer and better.

This declaration is likely to give railways an excellent opportunity to test and implement emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation and machine learning (ML) to control operations and manage the Indian railway’s infrastructure more efficiently.

“The safety measures undertaken in the past few years have borne results. To further strengthen this effort, high-density network and highly utilized network routes of Indian railways will be provided with an indigenously developed automatic train protection system that eliminates train collision due to human error,” Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, stated in her budget speech.

In addition to the above, announcements such as the government’s plan to hold a full-digitized national census in 2021, the launch of digital voter cards, and enhanced video conferencing capabilities for speedy judicial hearings reflect the government’s increased focus on digitizing the economy and developing the necessary infrastructure for new-age technologies and services.


“The focus on innovation and R&D as an important pillar is a critical step in increasing the Indian IT sector’s export income. Along with this, the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ budget also outlines initiatives for the gig economy, digital payments, human capital while also setting up fintech hub and National Natural Language Translation Missions. Therefore, with increased allocation towards infrastructure, financial inclusion, and healthcare, Budget 2021 promises to provide the much-needed economic velocity to India’s growth cycle,” – CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra

“Coming out of the pandemic year, the Finance Minister has laid down a well-rounded Budget. Focus on setting up of Fintech Hub at Gift City, enhancing digital payments, and using AI in governance – all provide a strong platform for Digital India. Allocating Rs 50,000 crore towards National Research Foundation will boost India’s Innovation Quotient on the global map and is a welcome move. Allocation of funds as incentives for promoting digital payments is also a step in the right direction and a significant step in ease of doing business. Lastly, increase in allocation for highways and railways will lead to employment generation and boost the economic growth of the nation,” – Karthikeyan Natarajan, President, and Chief Operating Officer, Cyient

“The budget is a major step in the right direction. It outlays a strong focus on infrastructure, healthcare, capital spending, disinvestment, monetization, job creation and digitization. These measures are not only progressive and recovery-led, if implemented correctly would ease the burden on the economy and lead India towards the projected V-shaped growth and development,” – Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India

“This budget announcement confirms the government’s focus on developing infrastructure and skills, which will have short and long-term benefits to the Indian economy & people. Steps like international collaboration to develop new skills will help Indian youth prepare for modern job requirements and make them global-ready. The National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) announcement is a welcome step, which will help build a Digital First mindset in the entire education system in India and help students and educators adopt new ways of learning and teaching. Besides, we welcome the doubled allocation for the MSME sector, which will incentivize our small businesses’ digital transformation that is the backbone of our economy,” – Ketan Patel, Managing Director – HP India Market.

User study on WhatsApp new privacy policy

User study on WhatsApp new privacy policy

Better World logo

यूज़र्स चाहते हैं कि सरकार Whatsapp प्राइवेसी पॉलिसी में हस्तक्षेप करे।

Whatsapp प्राइवेसी पॉलिसी सर्वे रिपोर्ट

विश्लेषण: दीपक कुमार

हाल ही में Whatsapp प्राइवेसी पॉलिसी में बदलाव प्रस्तावित किये गए हैं, जिसपर चर्चा काफी गर्म है । इंटरनेट कंपनियों द्वारा यूजर डेटा की गोपनीयता का सम्मान करने और न करने के बीच एक पतली रेखा है। आज के डिजिटल युग में यह रेखा और भी पतली हो गई है। बड़ी इंटरनेट कंपनियों के लिए, यूजर डेटा एक सोने की खान जैसा है।

व्हाट्सएप यूजर डेटा को फेसबुक तथा अन्य बिज़नेस पार्टनर्स के साथ साझा करने का अधिकार प्राप्त करना चाहता है। इससे पेरेंट कंपनी फेसबुक डिजिटल विज्ञापन की दुनिया में एक सशक्त बढ़त हासिल कर सकती है। यह सर्वविदित है कि व्हाट्सएप डेटा फेसबुक के विज्ञापन बिज़नेस को काफी लाभ पहुंचा सकता है।

इस बात से उपयोगकर्ता खुश नहीं हैं। हाल ही में संपन्न एक Better World सर्वेक्षण के जवाब में, उनमें से अधिकांश (67%) चाहते हैं कि सरकार किसी न किसी रूप में इस मामले में हस्तक्षेप करे, जैसा कि इस रिपोर्ट में आगे चर्चा की गई है। विशेष रूप से, इनमें व्यावसायिक व्हाट्सएप उपयोगकर्ता भी शामिल हैं। इस रिपोर्ट के लिखे जाने के समय तक, मीडिया सूत्रों के अनुसार सरकार ने व्हाट्सएप को अपनी प्रस्तावित गोपनीयता-नीति में बदलाव को वापस लेने के लिए कहा है।
यह सब तब शुरू हुआ जब व्हाट्सएप ने अपने उपयोगकर्ताओं को सूचित किया कि उसने अपनी गोपनीयता नीति को अपडेट कर दिया है और उपयोगकर्ता नई नीति को स्वीकार कर सकते हैं या 8 फरवरी 2021 तक व्हाट्सएप का उपयोग करना छोड़ सकते हैं। बाद में इस समय सीमा को बढ़ा कर 15 मई कर दिया गया।
WhatsApp की गोपनीयता-नीति में बदलाव और उसके बाद

उपयोगकर्ताओं का बड़े पैमाने पर विरोध साफ़ दीखता है। लाखों उपयोगकर्ताओं ने इस कदम के खिलाफ अपने विरोध को पोस्ट और ट्वीट किया और यहां तक कि सिग्नल और टेलीग्राम जैसे वैकल्पिक मैसेजिंग ऐप्स को ज्वाइन भी किया। टेस्ला कंपनी के संस्थापक एलोन मस्क के ट्वीट, “सिग्नल का उपयोग करें”, ने व्हाट्सएप छोड़ने की एक मुहिम सी चलाने में मदद की।  ट्विटर पर उनके 41.5 मिलियन फॉलोवर्स होने का भी इस मामले में काफी प्रभाव पड़ा।

शुरु में तो व्हाट्सएप छोड़ने की होड़ इतनी ज्यादा थी कि सिग्नल के सर्वर नए साइनअप का भार उठाने में सक्षम नहीं थे। एक समय सिग्नल ने ट्वीट करके सफाई तक दी कि एक साथ कई नए लोगों के साइन करने के कारण सर्वर आवश्कतानुसार काम नहीं कर पा रहे हैं, अतः लोग थोड़ा धैर्य रखें।

11 जनवरी 2021 को, फेसबुक के शेयरों में 4.01% की गिरावट आई जबकि Nasdaq index सिर्फ 1.55% गिरा । 12 जनवरी को फेसबुक 2.24% गिरा जबकि  Nasdaq 0.77% बढ़ा। 14 जनवरी को, यह छह महीने से अधिक समय में सबसे कम पर हुआ।

Better World द्वारा किए गए  सर्वे में जहां 37% उपयोगकर्ताओं ने कहा कि वे whatsapp के इस कदम को अपनी गोपनीयता का गंभीर उल्लंघन मानते हैं, 45% ने कहा कि यह अच्छा नहीं पर वे इसे मान लेंगे । केवल 18% ने कहा कि whatsapp की प्रस्तावित गोपनीयता नीति में परिवर्तन से उन्हें बिल्कुल परेशानी  नहीं है। हालांकि, इन 18% उपयोगकर्ताओं में से कुछ पहले से ही व्हाट्सएप के साथ अन्य मैसेजिंग ऐप का उपयोग कर रहे थे।

आइये इन ग्राफों के जरिये देखें कि whatsapp users ने सर्वे के माध्यम से क्या मत रखे हैं।
(To read this report in English, please click here.)
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Subscribers (Global)2 billion400 million20 million
Cross platformYesYesYes
Video and voice callYesYesYes
End-to-end encryption Personal messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted.Only for secret chatAll features are end-to-end encrypted
Type of softwareClosed-source privacyOpen-source privacyOpen-source privacy
Information collectionUser’s location, IP address, mobile operator, timezone, phone number, and details of a Facebook or WhatsApp account.Device data, IP addresses for moderation, phone number and the User IDOnly phone number for registration
Group chatsUp to 256 membersUp to 200,000 members1,000 members
File sharing capabilityVideos with 16MB limit in size and regular files up to 100MB2 GB100 MB
Folder managementChats can be stored through emailChats can be moved in to foldersNo such feature exists with Signal
Disappearing messages featureEnables self-destruction of a message after 7 daysEnabled through self-destruct timerEnable self-destruction after 5 seconds to 7 days once a user read the message
Data backupYes, online and offline backup on google driveYes, on Telegram’s cloudNo, stored on its own cloud platform
Group chat securityE2ENoE2E
Cross platformYesYesYes

Analyst’s Views

Better World is of the view that while the responses to this survey do reflect users’ displeasure with the new privacy policy, the actual actions taken by them will likely be different in many cases. Particularly, those users who are considering to quit WhatsApp in a month’s time, are more likely to have second thoughts and may stay put. It is also likely that some of the users who have already quit may come back after some time.

The key reason for such reconsiderations would be the huge user base that WhatsApp currently enjoys. While WhatsApp had a colossal global base of 2 billion subscribers, Telegram has a much smaller base of 400 million and Signal has a miniscule base of 20 million by comparison. Even if a few million WhatsApp users move to other platforms, it will not be fruitful if a significant percentage of their contacts also move to those very platforms. If that doesn’t happen, users could feel compelled to come back to WhatsApp for their daily messaging needs.

Notably, when considering alternative apps, 26% said they were sticking with WhatsApp. Further, when asked to provide a timeline for quitting, 28% said they had no plans to quit. It is quite possible that when it comes to actually quitting the platform, a much higher number of users will reconsider.

A consolidated view of respondents’ profiles

WhatsApp privacy policy-Graph7

About the Analyst and the Survey Methodology

Deepak KumarDeepak Kumar

Deepak is an ICT industry analyst with more than 25 years of experience in researching and analyzing multiple domains. His focus areas are strategic business and marketing advisory, sales enablement, and public speaking.  He has published reports, whitepapers, case studies, and blogs in areas of cloud, mobility, social media, and analytics.

He is Founder and Chief Research Officer at BM Nxt and Better World. He has earlier worked with IDC, Reuters, Voice&Data, and Dataquest in leadership roles spanning research, advisory, and editorial functions. 

About the report

The Better World WhatsApp Privacy Policy Survey Report was prepared by analyzing results of a primary research and supplementing it with data and insights collected from secondary research.  

The Better World WhatsApp Privacy Policy Survey was conducted via an online form that was circulated among more 1,000 respondents.  A total of 565 valid responses were collected during the period 9 January to 25 January 2021.  Better World also spoke to multiple respondents for qualitative insights. The surveys were led Jatinder Singh, Director, Research and Insights, Better World, and independent market researcher Deepti Arora.  


I take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the survey respondents for taking time out and providing their inputs, without which this report would not have been completed in a timely manner. Special thanks are due to the following individuals for adding value to the report and providing viewpoints representative of different user and stakeholder segments.


CIO Vijay Sethi bids adieu to Hero MotoCorp

CIO Vijay Sethi bids adieu to Hero MotoCorp

CIO Vijay Sethi

Vijay Sethi

Hero MotoCorp’s long-standing CIO Vijay Sethi has decided to bid adieu to the company after serving the firm for over 13 years. Besides donning the CIO hat, Sethi was also managing the corporate social responsibility (CSR) and human resource functions at the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing company.

Sethi had joined Hero MotoCorp in September 2007 from pharma major Ranbaxy, where he had served as director – business solutions (IT). Prior to Ranbaxy, he had worked as a management consultant for Tata Consultancy Services for over seven years.

While the automaker is yet to announce Sethi’s replacement, it has named Pradeep Eledath as interim head of IT. Eledath has over two decades of experience in information technology, cybersecurity, and digital transformation. Mike Clarke will assume the role of chief human resources officer and COO.

A highly acclaimed CIO and a frequent speaker at various institutes and forums, Vijay Sethi holds a Master’s degree in industrial engineering, an MBA in materials management, and a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra.

Sethi is also a member of several national forums. He is Chairman of IT committee of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Co-chairman of CII Core Group on Cyber Security, member of CII’s National Committee on IT/ITeS, and board member of SAP India User Group (INDUS). He has also been a member of the National Knowledge Council and IP Committee of CII.

About Hero Motocorp

Hero MotoCorp Limited, formerly known as Hero Honda, is an Indian multinational motorcycle and scooter manufacturer based in New Delhi. Headed by Pawan Munjal, the company is the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer. In India, it has a market share of about 46% in the two-wheeler category.

The largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the country is reportedly working on the launch of an electric passenger car in India as part of its future mobility vision.

For other recent C-Track movements, click here.


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