WhatsApp asks users to update the app after detecting spyware

The spyware attacks a user's privacy which means that it would leave the phone and all the data, including the call logs, the emails, the messages, photos, etc. vulnerable to an Israeli cyber intelligence company, NSO

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Widely used Messaging platform WhatsApp, recently detected a bug on its platform that allows malicious parties to install spyware on the users' smartphones by using a mere WhatsApp call, whether the user receives it or not.  

The spyware attacks a user's privacy, which means that it would leave the phone and all the data, including the call logs, emails, the messages, photos, etc. vulnerable to an Israeli cyber intelligence company, NSO. 

According to a report by the Financial Times, the code developed by NSO could be transmitted on to a smartphone even if the person doesn't answer the WhatsApp call. Along with this, the call disappears from the call log which means that the person won't notice receiving a call in the first place. 


The versions of WhatsApp that have been affected by the issue include -- WhatsApp for Android v2.19.134 and before, WhatsApp Business for Android v2.19.44 and before, WhatsApp for iOS v2.19.51 and before, WhatsApp Business for iOS v2.19.51 and before, WhatsApp for Windows Phone v2.18.348 and before, and WhatsApp for Tizen v2.18.15 and before.                                                                                                                                           

This attack has all the hallmarks of a private company known to work with governments to deliver spyware that reportedly takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems," WhatsApp told the FT in a statement.

"We have briefed a number of human rights organisations to share the information we can, and to work with them to notify civil society," it added.

Meanwhile, NSO have rejected these claims and said that they did not use their technology to target people's personal data. Accordingly, WhatsApp has asked people to update the app on their smartphones, in order to avoid the phone getting hacked.

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