Does WhatsApp disclose the sender's IP address? Is it possible to get it by running netstat -a or via Wireshark?

  • We need a little bit more clarification here: who are you referring to as the "sender"? Is this a message you're receiving from another person, something you're sending yourself, or something that someone in your local network is sending? – Nic Barker Aug 29 '15 at 6:53
  • Sender is someone who send me a message. Sender and receiver are in distinct networks. – user69377 Aug 29 '15 at 7:04
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    whatsapp.com/legal seems to describe their usage of data. Did you read it? – Neil Smithline Aug 29 '15 at 17:15

WhatsApp uses a client/server architecture based on Jabber (XMPP).

For the recipient(s) to see your IP addresses, the application will have to include your IP address in the metadata of the message. But this has no functional role in the design of such an application.

Your packet capture will likely show IP addresses belonging to WhatsApp(or Facebook) and maybe a CDN company like Akamai that stores media.

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    It seems calls may reveal your IP address – Inemesit Affia Sep 19 '17 at 8:52

Short answer : No. Apart from possibly VoIP calls (from some limited testing the client appeared to perform some reachability tests and connects directly if it can). Mobile networks often use NAT so you often don't have a unique public IP anyway (WiFi would be the only concern).

Long answer : The messaging protocol is documented here and does not contain any IP addresses, it contains the telephone number of the sender to identify the user. Even file transfers are downloading from a HTTPS/TLS server owned by What'sApp. VoIP calls however appear to be able to go directly P2P if the network is open enough which would then reveal your IP. Additionally when on a mobile network you will most likely be going through a NAT so you don't have a public IP address that uniquely identifies you for your IP address to be of concern.

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  • Video and audio calls in WhatsApp are direct and they do reveal the IP of the parties (often behind NAT but still). – kravietz May 18 '17 at 11:21
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    Yes but if behind carrier NAT your "leaked" IP address is still going to be a proxy. WiFi phone/video calls over What'sApp would be my concern. Agreed I wasn't clear in my answer above. Even then it may rely on the user accepting the call for the connection data to be leaked. – Matthew1471 May 19 '17 at 14:53

As WhatsApp isn't a peer to peer application , in order for this to occur WhatsApp would have to be logging the sender's IP address and attaching it to the message object delivered to the recipient. This has massive privacy and security implications and I sincerely doubt they would be doing this.

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