WhatsApp urges users upgrade after spyware attack

Credit: TomoNews US
Published on May 17, 2019 - Duration: 01:18s

WhatsApp urges users upgrade after spyware attack

JERUSALEM — WhatsApp strongly urged all its users to upgrade to the latest version of the messaging app following reports that vulnerabilities could leave their phones open to spyware.

According to the Financial Times, hackers were able to remotely install surveillance software on phones and other devices using a major flaw in the app.

The Financial Times reported that the attack was developed by Israeli security firm NSO Group.

According to the Financial Times report, hackers were able to use WhatsApp's voice calling function to ring a target's device.

Even if the call was not answered, the spyware could be installed, and the call would often disappear from the device's call log.

According to the BBC, WhatsApp's security team was the first to identify the flaw, and shared the information with human rights groups, certain security vendors and the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this month.

The report said the malware was designed by Israeli cyber surveillance company NSO Group and affects both Android and iPhones.

WhatsApp wasn't able to provide numbers as to how many phones were targeted.

When asked about the report, NSO said its technology is licensed to authorized government agencies "for the sole purpose of fighting crime and terror," and that it doesn't operate the system itself.

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