Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
11,017.00-36.9
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

WhatsApp wants users to upgrade app urgently: Here's why

The company discovered a vulnerability that allowed a spyware to be installed on users' phones via the app's call function.

IANS|
Updated: May 14, 2019, 02.58 PM IST
0Comments
WhatsApp urges users to upgrade app after report of spyware attack
WhatsApp urges users to upgrade app after report of spyware attack
SAN FRANCISCO: 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.

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.
Untitled-2
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.

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.

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.

From WhatsApp To YouTube, Tech Updates That Will Impact Your Digital Life

of 3
Next
Prev
Play Slideshow

Time For An Upgrade

26 Jul, 2018
Everyone knows about the big product launches and global news. However, there are a number of small but significant updates that slip under the radar. Here's a round-up of some of the announcements that will possibly have an impact on your digital life.
Next

0Comments
Want stories like this in your inbox? Sign up for the daily ET Panache newsletter.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Also Read

AU Bank launches account opening on WhatsApp

Can't wait to launch WhatsApp payments for all our Indian users: Will Cathcart, global head, WhatsApp

Enterprises test WhatsApp’s payment app

WhatsApp announces privacy education partnership

How WhatsApp, Facebook are helping farmers prosper

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times News App for Quarterly Results, Latest News in ITR, Business, Share Market, Live Sensex News & More.

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service