WhatsApp the secure messaging app which is used by around 1.5 billion people, has made the news again recently for all the wrong reasons. Earlier this month news broke out that the app was vulnerable to an attack which could be targeted against specific people. The claim was made by an Israeli cyber intelligence firm.
The security researchers stated that they had found some spyware which was designed to take advantage of an unknown WhatsApp vulnerability.
The vulnerability works by allowing the attackers to transmit a malicious payload (some code) to the targeted device by calling the user and then infecting the call whether the recipient answered the call or not. Apparently, the logs of incoming calls were then erased, making it difficult to see the call being received.
Since the new broke out, WhatsApp has stated that they quickly remediated the vulnerability and pushed out the changes and now advises that everyone who is using their app should update as soon as possible to reduce any risk.
WhatsApp stated in a release that “The attack has all the hallmarks of a private company reportedly that works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems” “We have briefed a number of human rights organizations to share the information we can and to work with them to notify civil society.”
As always, ensure that all your applications and devices are kept up to date on a regular basis. If you have the capability, ensure that auto update is enabled at all times.