Thursday October 17, 2019
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WhatsApp Discovers Spyware Attack Via Voice Calling: Report

According to WhatsApp, it suspects a relatively small number of users were targeted

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FILE - The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

WhatsApp has urged its 1.5 billion users to upgrade the app after the Facebook-owned platform discovered a vulnerability that allowed spyware to be installed on users’ phones via the app’s phone call function.

The spyware was allegedly developed by the Israeli cyber intelligence company NSO Group, reports the Financial Times.

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.

“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 Israel-based NSO Group works for the government, looking to infect targets of investigations and gain access to various aspects of their devices.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“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.

NSO Group told the Financial Times: “Under no circumstances would NSO be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology, which is solely operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies”.

“NSO would not or could not use its technology in its own right to target any person or organization,” the company added.

Also Read- North Korea Blames US of ‘Robbery’ for Seizing Cargo Ship, Demands Immediate Return

NSO limits sales of its spyware called Pegasus to state intelligence agencies and others. The software has the ability to collect intimate data from a target device.

According to WhatsApp, it suspects a relatively small number of users were targeted.

“This is, as you can imagine, an extremely severe security hole, and it is difficult to fix the window during which it was open, or how many people were affected by it,” reports TechCrunch. (IANS)

Next Story

WhatsApp Now Back on Google Play Store After its Sudden Disappearance

Due to the sudden disappearance, those who were looking to join WhatsApp for the first time were not able to install it via the Play Store

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whatsapp, paytm, UPI-based Pay service
FILE - The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Saturday confirmed that the app was now back on the Google App store after its sudden disappearance.

New users’ can download the app on Android phones by just typing WhatsApp on the search box of Google Play Store.

Unfortunately, the reason for the short absence remains unclear.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

Users on Friday reported that the Facebook-owned instant chat messenger app disappeared from the Google Play Store.

Also Read: Microsoft Planning to Launch a New Keyboard with Emoji Menu

Due to the sudden disappearance, those who were looking to join WhatsApp for the first time were not able to install it via the Play Store. (IANS)