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: Felicity Huffman Likely to Spend This Amount of Time in Jail
More news: WTI crude hits $63 on after Saudi oil tankers sabotaged
More news: Prosecutors recommend 4-month sentence for Felicity Huffman

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

  • Generic Drug Companies Accused of Price Gouging

    Generic Drug Companies Accused of Price Gouging

    The suit contends that this resulted in "many billions of dollars of harm to the national economy over a period of several years". Soaring drug prices from both branded and generic manufacturers have sparked outrage and investigations in the United States.
    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.
    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.
  • Dog disease that can be passed to humans confirmed in US

    Dog disease that can be passed to humans confirmed in US

    The statement also encouraged people to thoroughly wash their hands "after handling animals - even household pets". The disease, which can be spread through reproductive fluids, is believed to only infect dogs and humans.
    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.
    '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.
  • ‘Pikachu’ tries to dethrone the ‘Avengers,’ but just misses

    ‘Pikachu’ tries to dethrone the ‘Avengers,’ but just misses

    Between both the domestic and foreign box offices , Detective Pikachu has earned a combined total of US$170.4 million. The movie's worldwide total for its debut weekend stands at $161 million (that includes North American sales).
    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.
    Kavanaugh Joins Liberals, Says iPhone Users Can Sue Apple For App Monopoly

    Kavanaugh Joins Liberals, Says iPhone Users Can Sue Apple For App Monopoly

    The court has not declared Apple monopolists yet, but this ruling does allow the case to proceed. Tom's Hardware has reached out to Apple for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
  • 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.
    '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".
    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.