WhatsApp Business Acquisition Guide

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Exclusively available to Android users, WhatsApp Business offers a number of features aimed at small business owners. It allows businesses interact with their customers by using a number of automation tools to quickly find and respond to messages. Starting with v.2.40, Elcomsoft Extractor for WhatsApp supports physical and cloud acquisition of WhatsApp Business.


WhatsApp Business Physical Extraction

It's important to note that WhatsApp Business is a separate app and can run alongside with the regular WhatsApp app. However, unless the user has a dual-SIM phone and configures the two WhatsApp apps to use different phone numbers, only one of the apps can be active. If the user has a phone with a single SIM card, activating WhatsApp Business on that phone number automatically deactivates the regular app and vice versa. Compared to the 'normal' WhatsApp, the Business app has a different protection scheme that rules out physical acquisition from Android devices without root access. That's why Elcomsoft Extractor for WhatsApp must utilize root access to extract WhatsApp Business data. As a result, a rooted phone is the required pre-requisite for physical extraction.


Perform the following steps to extract information from a rooted device
  1. Enable USB Debugging on the device you are about to acquire. This may require unlocking the device and entering the passcode.

  2. Connect the phone to the PC and make sure that an ADB link is established. You may be prompted to confirm the ADB link prompt on the phone, which requires unlocking the device. Once "adb devices" returns the list of devices attached, you're good to go.

  3. Launch EXWA 2.40 or newer

  4. Select Android > Load from Device

  5. EXWA will check if the device is connected

  6. If the device is connected and USB debugging is authorized, you'll see information about the device. Click Load data.

  7. The data will be first copied from the private sandbox to common storage

  8. The data will be pulled to your PC

  9. Once the process is complete, the backup appears in the list of available sources

  10. Click on a backup to view its contents

  11. You now can accessthe entire WhatsApp database

WhatsApp Business Cloud Extraction from Google Drive

In the majority of cases you deal with Android phones that don't have root access installed. Unless it's an old handset with a known vulnerability or it has its bootloader unlocked, rooting the phone may be difficult or unfeasible. For these situations, we developed a solution allowing you to extract WhatsApp Business data from a Google Drive backup. You'll need to authenticate into the user's Google Account in order to download the backup. However, that's not the end. WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business encrypt their Google Drive backups with a key that is impossible to obtain from the device without root access. This key is also held on WhatsApp servers and is normally used when the user restores their cloud backup on a new device. Google Drive backups contain less information compared to what is available through physical extraction. Elcomsoft Extractor for WhatsApp can register as a new WhatsApp Business client and obtain the encryption key from the server. In order to register as a WhatsApp Business client, the tool requests a one-time code received as an SMS from WhatsApp; you'll need to enter that code into Elcomsoft Extractor for WhatsApp to confirm registration.


Below is the instruction for cloud acquisition
  1. Launch EXWA 2.40 or newer

  2. Select Android > Download from Google Drive

  3. Provide the user's Google ID and password. If the account is protected with Two-Factor Authentication, you'll be prompted to complete the secondary step. EXWA supports all current 2FA methods provided by Google.

  4. If authentication is successful, you'll be presented with available backups. If there is no data available, you may need to create a fresh backup by unlocking the phone, launching WhatsApp Business and tapping Settings > Chats > Chat backup. Enable backups in Google Drive settings and tap the BACK UP button.

  5. Select one or more backups and click Download

  6. EXWA will download the backup(s)

  7. Since WhatsApp Business always encrypts conversations but not the media, you'll be presented with a choice: open the downloaded backup and access only the contacts and media files, or try to decrypt the backup to access histories and conversations.

  8. To obtain the decryption key, EXWA must register itself as a new WhatsApp Business client. You'll need to enter a one-time code received from WhatsApp to the user's registered phone number. Click Request code, enter it and click Decrypt.

  9. The backup will be decrypted in a few moments. You'll be able to access the entire content of the backup.

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Tags: WhatsApp, Business, Acquisition

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