WeChat 6.5.10 (iOS / App Store)

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This application is available for iOS. This app is designed to be powerful text & media messenger all-in-one. The latest build was released on Jul 06, 2017. Our latest check was performed on Mar 26th, 2017.

Findings Summary

Our examination revealed total 30 items, where were 16 DAR items and 14 DIT items found. Among DAR items were found 0 worst items, 12 bad items, 1 good item, and 2 best items. Among DIT items were found 6 worst items, 0 bad items, 8 good items, and 0 best items.

Below you find 4 infographics summarizing what we described above. Each image provides information about both DAR and DIT items.

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Everything presented below is related to well-known CWEs, such as Sensitive data leakage [CWE-200], Unsafe sensitive data storage [CWE-312], Unsafe sensitive data transmission [CWE-319]. You can read more about it here.

Now let’s go deeper and examine each data item’s protection level.

Application Description

Let’s cite the description of this application below:

WeChat is a messaging and calling app that allows you to easily connect with family & friends across countries. It’s the all-in-one communications app for text (SMS/MMS), voice and video calls, Moments, photo sharing, and games.
WHY USE WECHAT:

  • MULTIMEDIA MESSAGING: Send video, image, text, and voice messages.
  • GROUP CHAT & CALLS: Create group chats with up to 500 people and group video calls up to 9 people.
  • FREE VOICE & VIDEO CALLS: High-quality free calls to anywhere in the world.
  • WECHAT OUT CALLS: Make calls to landlines and mobile around the globe at low rates (in certain regions only).
  • STICKER GALLERY: Hundreds of free, fun, animated stickers to express your feelings from some of your favorite cartoons and movies.
  • MOMENTS: Share your best moments on your personal photo stream.
  • BETTER PRIVACY: WeChat gives you the highest level of control over your privacy. It’s the only messaging app to be certified by TRUSTe.
  • MEET NEW FRIENDS: Use “Friend Radar”, “People Nearby” and “Shake” to meet others.
  • REALTIME LOCATION: Instead of having to tell others where you are, just use real-time location sharing.
  • LANGUAGE SUPPORT: Localized in 20 different languages and can translate messages to any language.
  • WeRun-WeChat: Access HealthKit data and challenge friends to beat their scores via the “WeRun-WeChat” Official Account.
  • AND MORE: Desktop app, custom wallpapers, custom notifications, and Official Accounts.

Protection levels.

Locally stored data (Data-at-Rest, DAR).

Locally stored data groups include Credentials Information, Account Information, Device Information, Application Information, Message Information, Media Information, Log Information.
The average DAR value is 3.91 points (7.00 points of system protection and 0.81 point of own protection). It is higher than a typical value (3.5 points, where’s 7 points of system protection and 0 points of own protection).

Items’ GROUP #1 with average value 3.50 points (7 points of system protection, 0 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, extra data found that shouldn’t be accessed where system protection level means – root/jailbreak is required but not possible without wiping device data, and own protection level means – stored as is.

– Credentials (IDs) (‘Credentials Information’ Group) – Only account IDs like app or 3rd party user IDs including emails, phone number, usernames, etc. (depends on apps). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any types of credentials including basic (IDs only), passwords, tokens, etc.,

– Account Data (‘Account Information’ Group) – Basic info about account like name, a list of sub-account (e.g. financial or other) and some linked data like a phone number. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications,

– Device Data (‘Device Information’ Group) – Device ID, Device Name, Device OS Name and Version, and jailbroken/root status. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be details about your device,

– Application Configs (‘Application Information’ Group) – Different configuration files created by your app, perhaps app permissions. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to the app, app settings, including installed apps or installers,

– Credentials (IDs) (‘Application Information’ Group) – Only account IDs like app or 3rd party user IDs including emails, phone number, usernames, etc. (depends on apps). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to the app, app settings, including installed apps or installers,

– Locale ‘n’ TimeZone (‘Application Information’ Group) – Details about your locale, languages, time zone, country and so on. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to the app, app settings, including installed apps or installers,

– Attachments (‘Message Information’ Group) – Either Raw or encoded attachments files. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Contact vCard (‘Message Information’ Group) – Contact Profile info stored as vCard. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Attachment Preview (‘Message Information’ Group) – Encoded attachment’s preview. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– GEO Data (‘Message Information’ Group) – Any GEO info stored as plain text referred to the places or tracked activity. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Address Data (‘Message Information’ Group) – Home, work or another type of owner address stored by apps. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Messages (‘Message Information’ Group) – Different types of messages, conversations, except for SMS, MMS but including recipient and sender IDs and attachments. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Media Data (‘Account Information’ Group) – Any info like images, audios, videos, media notes, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications

Items’ GROUP #2 with average value 6.50 points (7 points of system protection, 6 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, protection and privacy issues are still possible but might involve interaction with an app code where system protection level means – root/jailbreak is required but not possible without wiping device data, and own protection level means – data is not available in backups.

– Screen Snapshots (‘Media Information’ Group) – Screenshots of your device screen running certain apps; common as an iOS app multitasking feature (app swipes) or browser tab swipes. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any data like photo, image, video, audio

Items’ GROUP #3 with average value 7.00 points (7 points of system protection, 7 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, compliance but there are publicly known techniques to access the data including forensics one where system protection level means – root/jailbreak is required but not possible without wiping device data, and own protection level means – data stored in system protected place like keychain (no additional protection still).

– Log Data (‘Log Information’ Group) – Logged any data as a solid file or multipart files. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any information stored in local or network logs

Also, keep in mind, using jailbroken device means the system protection level is 0 points and you’re using out-of-date iOS < 8.3 the system protection level is 2 points. If some data marked as shareable via iTunes, then the system protection level is 4 points.

Transferred data (Data-in-Transit, DIT).

Transferred data groups include Message Information, Location ‘n’ Maps Information, Application Information, Account Information, Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information, Credentials Information.
The average DIT value is 3.61 points (2.86 points of system protection and 4.36 points of own protection). It is less than a typical value (4 points, where’s 4 points of system protection and 4 points of own protection).

Items’ GROUP #1 with average value 0.00 points (0 points of system protection, 0 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, data ‘as is’ and easily accessed (plaintext, no protection at all) where system protection level means – transferred (or supposed to be) ‘as is’ (plaintext) due to jailbreak/root or preinstalled non-trusted firmware, certificates, etc., and own protection level means – transferred as is, perhaps protection mode turns off or doesn’t exist or info reveal eventually.

– GEO Data (‘Message Information’ Group) – Any GEO info stored as plain text referred to the places or tracked activity. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Address Data (‘Message Information’ Group) – Home, work or another type of owner address stored by apps. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– GEO Snapshots (‘Message Information’ Group) – Image-based snapshots of geodata info referred to the places. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Contact Media (‘Location ‘n’ Maps Information’ Group) – Full or reduced image of contact. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any geodata from trackers, social networks, GPS, etc.,

– Place Details (‘Message Information’ Group) – Any info about public place (city, country, address, contacts) stored in text or media file format. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Credentials (QR-code) (‘Credentials Information’ Group) – Different tokens based on QR-code to get access to your account, except for passwords but including app or 3rd party tokens, secret keys, etc. (usually give full access to your account). This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any types of credentials including basic (IDs only), passwords, tokens, etc.

Items’ GROUP #2 with average value 6.00 points (5 points of system protection, 7 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, protection and privacy issues are still possible but might involve interaction with an app code where system protection level means – some techniques are available to developers to keep connection bypassing system settings, like proxy settings, etc., and own protection level means – tricks to bypass sniffing (hardly to be or can’t be patched to bypass), including non-common or unsupported protocols.

– Media Data (‘Message Information’ Group) – Any info like images, audios, videos, media notes, etc. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Contact vCard (‘Message Information’ Group) – Contact Profile info stored as vCard. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– GEO Data (‘Location ‘n’ Maps Information’ Group) – Any GEO info stored as plain text referred to the places or tracked activity. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any geodata from trackers, social networks, GPS, etc.

Items’ GROUP #3 with average value 6.50 points (5 points of system protection, 8 points of own protection) means data protection levels have following definitions. Frankly talking, protection and privacy issues are still possible but might involve interaction with an app code where system protection level means – some techniques are available to developers to keep connection bypassing system settings, like proxy settings, etc., and own protection level means – own vpn or own crypto but compliance.

– Messages (‘Message Information’ Group) – Different types of messages, conversations, except for SMS, MMS but including recipient and sender IDs and attachments. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Application Configs (‘Application Information’ Group) – Different configuration files created by your app, perhaps app permissions. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to the app, app settings, including installed apps or installers,

– Account Settings ‘n’ Configs (‘Account Information’ Group) – Information about your account settings and configurations. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be any info related to profiles, basic credential IDs like email or username or phone number plus some more info depends on applications,

– Contact Short Profile (‘Message Information’ Group) – Name, Email ID, Phone number of contacts. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be all message, including SMS, MMS, social and IM messages with or without attachments,

– Contact Profile (‘Address Book ‘n’ Contact Information’ Group) – Full info about contacts including name email id, phone numbers, gender, linked accounts, geodata, stream and social activity. This data item related to mentioned group meant to be info locally stored, cached or transferred over the network and belong to this application if it’s social even

Keep in mind if you’re using out-of-date iOS < 9.0, the system level equals 2 points instead of 4. It means your data can be stolen without involving your actions.

Privacy Policy

Full application privacy policy is available here.

You may find privacy policy details proceeding the link above to compare developer’s vision on data protection with our results.