WhatsApp users alert: You need to upgrade the app ASAP; here is why
WhatsApp has urged its 1.5 billion users to upgrade the app after the Facebook-owned platform discovered a vulnerability that allowed a spyware to be installed on users' phones via the app's phone call function.
WhatsApp has urged its 1.5 billion users to upgrade the app after the Facebook-owned platform discovered a vulnerability that allowed a spyware to be installed on users' phones via the app's phone call function. In a statement, WhatsApp asked the users to upgrade the app and stay safe against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information. "WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices," the company said in a statement.
The spyware was allegedly developed by the Israeli cyber intelligence company NSO Group. The vulnerability leveraged a bug in WhatsApp`s audio call feature, facilitating the installation of spyware on the device being called whether the call was answered or not. WhatsApp said it has fixed the vulnerability that was discovered last month.
The Israel-based NSO Group works for the government, looking to infect targets of investigations and gain access to various aspects of their devices. "The attack has all the hallmarks of a private company reportedly that works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems," the WhatsApp statement read, without mentioning the NSO Group.
— Zee Business (@ZeeBusiness) May 14, 2019
Meanwhile, the NSO group has told the Financial Times that under no circumstances it would be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology, which is solely operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The company said that it would not or could not use its technology in its own right to target any person or organisation.
According to WhatsApp, it suspects a relatively small number of users were targeted.