On Monday, WhatsApp admitted having experienced “serious security vulnerability.” According to Financial Times, which first reported the story, the breach has enabled commercial Israeli spyware to be installed on phones through voice calls. On installation, they could open the camera and the microphone and carry out a targetted attack. An Isreali Security company, NSO is reported to be behind the attack.
In a statement to CNN, the NSO denies any involvement, “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.”
Whatsapp has now patched up its servers and is pushing users to install the new security update as a cautionary measure. WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for 19 Billion USD (United States Dollar) has a broad user base of as many as 1.5 billion users.
While the number of people who have been affected remains uncertain, the hacking technology is said to have been aimed at Human Rights Lawyers in the United Kingdom. Researchers maintain that an-ongoing breach was thwarted with timely server updates.
This comes at a time when Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes wrote in The New York Times, almost a week ago about how Zuckerberg’s company needs to be broken down as owning all three- WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook gives him a lot of influence on Social Media. Kamala Harris, who is now eyeing the Presidential seat in the 2020 Presidential elections in the United States, has also called for a break up of Zuckerberg’s virtual empire.
How To Update Your Whatsapp?
On an iPhone
Step 1: Open the App Store and look for ‘updates.’
Step 2: Choose “WhatsApp” and Update.
On an Android device
Step 1: Open the Play Store and tap on the 3 lines seen at the upper left corner.
Step 2: Select “My apps & games” from the menu.
Step 3: Choose “WhatsApp” and select Update.
Also Read: 5.6 Lakh Indian Users Affected By Data Breach; Facebook Introduces Tools For Users To Secure Data