WhatsApp has announced that they have found a vulnerability in their system that allowed cybercriminals to install spyware on some phones. By doing so, they were able to access the data of these phones.
The Financial Times reported the news and, a few hours later, it was the same messaging company that reported the matter. After confirmation, 1,500 million users followed the recommendations and updated the app to protect themselves.
WhatsApp investigates the case
The company says it does not know how many people have been affected by this attack. Now, they are clear that it has not been a massive cyberattack, but that it has gone for specific people.
Everything points to the Israeli cybersecurity company NSO Group is behind this issue, since this spyware is very similar to one that was developed in this company.
What is not known either is how long they spent spying on the users’ phones. This was detected a few days ago, but everything else is unknown.
Spyware was introduced after a voice call
The hackers made a call from WhatsApp to install the spyware on a phone. Then, if the person did not respond to the call, it was also installed.
In addition, after being installed, the call was automatically deleted from the history without leaving a trace. So, if the person had not heard the call, he would never imagine anything weird.
After discovering the attack, WhatsApp informed human rights organizations, which were also victims of this espionage case. In addition, they also informed the US Department of Justice and cybersecurity companies.
NSO Group seems to be responsible for everything
The fact that human rights organizations have been victims of this espionage reinforces the hypothesis that the NSO Group is behind this. This Israeli company had already used its software against these types of organizations at other times. In addition, they also create spyware so that some governments can spy and obtain information.
At the moment we can not do more than speculate, since nothing is known about the truth. Now, what the company says is that by updating the app, users will protect their phone from this cyber attack. So, we recommend that you do it as soon as possible.