WhatsApp Was Hacked By An Israeli Company And Quite Possibly, All Of Our Phones Were Affected

By Biya Haq | 14 May, 2019

Uh oh.

So, WhatsApp just announced that a breach in their system has ultimately left all information on our phones, vulnerable for hacking.

Source: BBC

Nice.

The tech giant stated that due to a hack in the system, a single incoming call through WhatsApp can release a bug that installs spyware in your phone which in turn leaves all of your content in your phone, everything from pictures and messages to contact information available to the hacker who is allegedly an Israeli cyber intelligence company, the NSO Group. Even if the call is not picked up, this information is accessible.

The bug is a threat to iOS and Android users and at the moment has apparently been spotted and stopped by WhatsApp. It is unclear to say how many users were actually affected by the attack at the moment, however, the company has been urging its users to update just in case.

The Firm connected to the breach, NSO, has been accused of spying on human-rights activists and journalists before.

Source: Getty Images

The Intelligence company develops tools strictly for Government use only. According to the New York Times, this particular hack was used to infiltrate the phone of a lawyer in London who was working on lawsuits against NSO. The lawyer was working with clients ranging from journalists, activists and other individuals being targetted by the spyware.

NSO Pegagus spyware – the software’s official name, can be used to gather personal information such as location data, emails, messages, images, and can even turn on mic and camera access. Clearly, this is bad and now, WhatsApp is paying for it. Well, Facebook is paying for it and many are turning to Zuckerburg for a response.

Though it has been remedied, a single breach in the system allowed government-grade spyware to be installed in our personal phones.

This is a huge deal to the tech world and if something isn’t done about the privacy and protection of users all over the world soon, tough to say what kind of questions Mark will have to answer to. This is not the first time the protection of information has been questioned when it comes to Facebook and now Facebook-owned entities but we are hoping this will be the last. All we can do is wait for some kind of statement, assuring us that this will never happen again.

Have you seen the story? Have you updated your WhatsApp? Is this all just a ploy to get us to update our versions? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Cover photo source: PhoneWorld

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