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Is someone about to hack your smartphone?
Is someone about to hack your smartphone?
Benedikt Fuest

For months, free smartphone instant messaging service WhatsApp has been topping the download charts. It is a favorite application for both iPhone and Android users. To the annoyance of cell phone providers, WhatsApp has become a kind of quasi replacement for the old fee-based SMS. According to WhatsApp developers, their servers handle over 10 billion messages per day.

However the service, which is run by small San Francisco start-up WhatsApp Inc., is neither as secure nor as failure-resistant as one would expect from a market leader. In his blog British web developer Sam Granger writes that any relatively ambitious hacker could get into WhatsApp accounts without a problem, either to intercept messages or send messages from their victim’s account.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Sergey Lavrov, Putin’s Decoy-In-Chief

The Russian Foreign Minister, among the country’s most recognizable figures, embodies both the corruption and confusion of the Putin regime. Not everything is what it seems — and that’s the point.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a diplomatic reception for heads of African diplomatic missions

Anna Akage

From the outside, one might have the impression that the Russian Federation is run through a highly complex and well-coordinated apparatus that ensures that any single cog in Vladimir Putin’s system is by definition both in synch with the other cogs — and utterly replaceable. The Kremlin appears to us through this lens as an impregnable citadel with long arms and peering eyes that are literally everywhere.

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And yet, this is a completely false picture — and there’s no greater proof than in looking more closely at one of Russia's most prominent figures, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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