• Monday, Jan 20, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:06 pm

WhatsApp detects 'targeted' surveillance attack

  • Published at 11:25 am May 14th, 2019
A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustration September 14, 2017 Reuters

They said the attack was devised by ‘an advanced cyber actor’

A crucial security vulnerability in the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has enabled hackers to install surveillance software on phones and others devices that use it.

WhatsApp authorities said the targeted users of the attack were a "select number," and it was devised by "an advanced cyber actor," reports BBC News.

The attack was carried out by using WhatsApp's voice calling function to call a target's device. The Financial Times reported that even if the call was not received, the surveillance software would be installed onto the phone, while the call would disappear from device’s log.

A fix for the security problem was revealed on Friday.

BBC News stated that this attack was organized by Israeli security firm NSO Group, according to the report in Financial Times.

On Monday, WhatsApp prodded all of its 1.5bn users to update their apps for further precautions. 

However, WhatsApp authorities have still not been able to determine the targeted clients who were affected by the security exposure, although the attack was first discovered earlier this month.