On Monday, WhatsApp admitted a major cybersecurity breach that has enabled targeted spyware to be installed on phones through voice calls. The security vulnerability affects both iPhone and Android devices, with malicious code (allegedly) from Israel’s NSO Group, transmitted whether or not a user answers an infected call.
Facebook has suffered a multitude of security and privacy breaches in the last year, but this news that a government-grade intelligence collection application had targeted the company’s WhatsApp application is different. WhatsApp is Facebook’s flagship messaging application and is lauded for its end-to-end encryption, both for messaging and voice calls. As a result, it has become a standard communications platform for government and security officials in many countries around the world.
WhatsApp engineers had been working round the clock to close the security loophole that was discovered early this month, and the company started to deploy a fix to servers on Friday and to customers on Monday.
We recommend all users who use the WhatsApp messaging service to update their App immediately.