Here’s Why you need to Update WhatsApp Urgently
WhatsApp users, here’s not-so-good news for you.
Last week, exploiting a security loophole in WhatsApp, hackers injected a spyware into several mobile phones. The hackers succeeded in installing the spyware on both Android and iPhones by making calls to the users. The spyware was transmitted even if the call wasn’t received. In several cases, the call disappeared from the logs soon after. While the identity of the hackers is still unknown, it is revealed that an Israeli company, the NSO Group, developed the spyware.
Latest WhatsApp Security Bug – Pegasus
The spyware Pegasus was developed by the Israeli cyber intelligence firm NSO Group which is headquartered in Herzliya. NSO is an Israeli technology firm which focuses on cyber security. Its main product, Pegasus has been updated and developed into three different versions, one of which was used to infiltrate the messaging App last week. The spyware allows operators to take control of a target’s phone, to switch on a phone’s camera and a microphone along with retrieving private data.
Has it affected me?
The exact number of users spied on is not yet known. Perhaps, few targets have been identified including a UK-based human rights lawyer and an Amnesty International researcher. If you have not received any WhatsApp voice call or dropped call from unknown caller then you’ve probably not been targeted. But if you’re a lawyer or you’re work in sensitive industries and use WhatsApp, even for personal correspondence, you should be especially vigilant.
What should I do?
Upgrade to the latest version of the app. Also, keep your mobile operating system up to date to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobiles.
How do I know if I’m using the latest version?
The popular messaging App has already made changes to its infrastructure last week to prevent the attack from happening, and issued an update for its app. It has briefed human rights organisations on the finding and has notified U.S. law enforcement to conduct an investigation.