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Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Finds “Certain Gaps” in Whatsapp’s Reply on Spyware

Everything in detail is not there

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Electronics, Information, Technology
We will be reaching out to them for many gaps in their reply. Pixabay

Terming the Whatsapp’s reply having “certain gaps”, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) has decided to write to the company over its response to the government charges that the messaging company didn’t inform it on time and with details that personal data of Indians were compromised by the spyware, while WhatsApp is learnt to have countered the government.

“Whatsapp has replied. We will be reaching out to them for many gaps in their reply. Everything in detail is not there. Definitely, we will be writing to them soon”, said a senior IT Ministry official.

However, sources in WhatsApp said the company had responded to the government. The response was from the company’s global office, they said without elaborating.

Sources said in response to the Meity’s notice for explanation on the breach, WhatsApp attached the vulnerability note it filed in May and the September letter to the government.

Electronics, Information, Technology
Whatsapp has replied. Pixabay

Thus, the Facebook-owned company is learnt to have countered the government charge that it didn’t inform it about a privacy breach on the messaging platform.

It stated in the September letter that 121 Indians were compromised by the Israeli spyware Pegasus. WhatsApp didn’t comment on details of its reply to Meity.

“We are looking into their reply. When their ((WhatsApp) communications came on May 20, CERT had already issued a vulnerability report on May 17. We had taken action. Thus, their information had no relevance. Our stand on vulnerability on account of this has not changed since May 17. The government acted on information available elsewhere and CERTs of other countries, not on WhatsApp’s information,” said another official of the ministry.

The Ministry had asked WhatsApp to explain the breach. There was a revelation by WhatsApp that Indian jounalists and rights activists were among users targeted by an Israeli spyware. The disclosure followed a lawsuit filed in a San Francisco court last week where WhatsApp alleged that Israeli NSO Group targeted some 1,400 WhatsApp users with Pegasus.

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CERT-In is the nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents. It collects, analyses and disseminates information of cyber incidents.

On May 17, CERT-In said vulnerability had been reported in WhatsApp, which could be exploited by a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system. “This vulnerability exists in WhatsApp due to a buffer overflow condition error”.

Giving a “high” severity rating, CERT-In suggested upgrade to latest version of WhatsApp.

Whatsapp has triggered enough political heat in India as two parliamentary standing committees — panels on home and information technology — are expected to seek details of the alleged breach from the government. (IANS)

Next Story

Upcoming Smart TV of Nokia gets Certification from BIS

Last week, Flipkart entered into a strategic partnership with Nokia to launch Nokia smart TVs in India

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Nokia
Nokia is a globally popular technology brand and enjoys immense brand recall, Thus its Smart TV is Much Awaited in the Market. Pixabay

Nokia upcoming smart TV has been certified by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), hinting that there will be a 55-inch display with 4K UHD resolution and is expected to launch soon.

The 55-inch TV will have Android Pie and will come with Google Play Store pre installed along with Intelligent Dimming technology providing better contrast ratio.

Also, it has been confirmed to feature JBL Audio, GSMArena reported on Wednesday.

Last week, Flipkart entered into a strategic partnership with Nokia to launch Nokia smart TVs in India.

Nokia
The 55-inch Nokia TV will have Android Pie and will come with Google Play Store pre installed along with Intelligent Dimming technology providing better contrast ratio. Wikimedia Commons

As part of the collaboration, Flipkart will leverage its understanding of the needs of Indian consumers to develop, facilitate domestic manufacturing and distribution of Nokia-branded smart TVs and manage the end-to-end go-to-market strategy.

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“Working with Nokia allows us to further expand the choice of high-quality, technologically advanced products for Indian consumers. Nokia is a globally popular technology brand and enjoys immense brand recall. We’re excited to start this journey with them to extend the brand into a fast-growing product segment,” Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice-President and Head-Private Brands, Electronics and Furniture at Flipkart said at the time. (IANS)