WhatsApp exploit allowed spyware to be installed via voice call

WhatsApp exploit allowed spyware to be installed via voice call

"WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits created to compromise information stored on mobile devices", a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement.

For its part, WhatsApp has frantically worked to patch up the hole ever since the vulnerability was reported earlier this month.

NSO sells surveillance software to governments to "prevent and investigate terrorism and crime", though digital privacy and human rights activists have called the company an enabler of repressive regimes to crack down on journalists, whistleblowers, and dissidents. "We have briefed a number of human rights organisations to share the information we can, and to work with them to notify civil society".

Citizen Lab, the Canadian non-profit that helps monitor the spread of Pegasus and its ilk, said someone tried to use the VoIP exploit as late as Sunday night to infect a UK-based human rights' lawyer's phone as Facebook engineers in London and San Francisco raced to push out patched versions of their software.

The company has also alerted USA law enforcement to the exploit, and published a "CVE notice", an advisory to other cybersecurity experts alerting them to "common vulnerabilities and exposures".

NSO Group and the Justice Department didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

More news: Dog disease that can be passed to humans confirmed in US
More news: Record Mariana Trench ocean dive discovers plastic bags, new species
More news: Michigan's Beilein agrees to become Cavs' coach

NSO Group has denied the allegations, telling the FT that it was investigating the WhatsApp attacks.

The messaging company said it has briefed human rights organisations on the finding, and notified USA law enforcement to help them conduct an investigation. "NSO would not or could not use its technology in its own right to target any person or organization". "Under no circumstances would NSO be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology, which is exclusively operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies", the company added. The spyware's capabilities are near absolute.

The WhatsApp vulnerability allegedly allowed NSO Group to send spyware to the victims even when they had not answered a voice call over the app, according to The Financial Times, which was first to report the news.

WhatsApp has about 1.5bn users around the world.

A separate case involving a Pegasus attempt through WhatsApp against an Amnesty International researcher in Israel - however, the spyware was not distributed through the calling vulnerability.

Related Articles

  • 'Empire' Ending After Season 6

    'Empire' Ending After Season 6

    He also announced that the show is moving to Tuesdays for its final season, putting it up against juggernaut This Is Us . Even the Kleenex brigades who watch the NBC show might tune in for a peek at how they bring back Smollett's character.
    Trump warns China not to retaliate against tariff hike

    Trump warns China not to retaliate against tariff hike

    A stumbling block has been US insistence on an enforcement mechanism with penalties to ensure Beijing carries out its commitments. They are paid by importers of Chinese goods, usually American companies or the US -registered units of foreign companies.
    Supreme Court ruling could threaten Apple’s 30 percent app commission

    Supreme Court ruling could threaten Apple’s 30 percent app commission

    Apple also claimed that because they don't set the retail price of the apps on the store, iPhone users can not sue them. Kavanaugh described this as a "straightforward" application of antitrust law and prior Supreme Court precedents.
  • Felicity Huffman Likely to Spend This Amount of Time in Jail

    Felicity Huffman Likely to Spend This Amount of Time in Jail

    Singer pleaded guilty in March to racketeering, money laundering; conspiracy to defraud the USA , and obstruction of justice. Several parents have already pleaded guilty, including Gordon Caplan and Bruce and Davina Isackson . "Everything else Mr.
    History-making Bertens triumphs in Madrid to halt Halep climb

    History-making Bertens triumphs in Madrid to halt Halep climb

    But Bertens more than played her part, a deserving victor and the first woman ever to win the title without even dropping a set. A victory in the title match would be the 19th of Halep's career and would also allow her to regain the World No. 1 ranking.
    'Game of Thrones' character names being given to more newborns

    'Game of Thrones' character names being given to more newborns

    "Best season ever!" she sarcastically replied when asked if she was happy with how things concluded. Let's look at some of the options. "They came into the world together and now they leave together".
  • Bayer ordered to pay $2bn in new US Roundup trial

    Bayer ordered to pay $2bn in new US Roundup trial

    In March, a jury in San Francisco awarded $80m to another Californian man after finding that Roundup had caused his cancer . FILE PHOTO: The Bayer AG logo sits on display at the headquarters in La Garenne-Colombes, near Paris, France, May 13, 2019.
    UEFA could ban City from the Champions League

    UEFA could ban City from the Champions League

    Manchester City retained their title with a 4-1 win over Brighton on Sunday, pipping rivals Liverpool to the post. Liverpool gave its best effort but ultimately fell short.
    Doris Day has died aged 97

    Doris Day has died aged 97

    Fellow actress Goldie Hawn said " Doris Day left us and took a piece of the sun with her" in an emotional Twitter message. The league continues to lobby on behalf of animal rights, while the foundation operates as an animal welfare charity.
  • Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp takes credit for Arsenal success

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp takes credit for Arsenal success

    Wolves were the only team who came into the final day of the season knowing exactly where they would finish. Always after a good year we lost key players [in the past] but we won't [this time] so we'll be there again.

    Alaska plane crash: 2 floatplanes in Ketchikan midair collision - 5 dead

    Kenitzer says local authorities say five people were onboard a deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver, and 11 were onboard a de Havilland Otter. AP reported that weather conditions in the area of the crash comprised high overcast skies with 9 miles per hour southeast winds.
    Prosecutors recommend 4-month sentence for Felicity Huffman

    Prosecutors recommend 4-month sentence for Felicity Huffman

    According to the lengthy indictment ET obtained in March , Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to help get her and husband William H. Huffman was among the stars of the popular ABC series " Desperate Housewives ", which won her an Emmy Award in 2005.