WhatsApp Hack: Steps you should take to keep your chat safe

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Here's how to avoid WhatsApp spyware installation from a single missed call

A major security breach was discovered in the world’s most popular messaging app WhatsApp as its calling feature was being used to inject commercial spyware onto Android and iOS smartphones.

According to reports, the spyware, developed by Israel’s secretive NSO group, can be installed without a trace and without the target answering the call.

The spyware can turn on a phone’s camera and mic, scan emails and messages, and collect the user’s location data.

In a bid to prevent the users from the spyware, WhatsApp is urging its 1.5 billion global users to update the app immediately to close the security hole.

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“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 designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices. We are constantly working alongside industry partners to provide the latest security enhancements to help protect our users,” a WhatsApp Spokesperson said in an emailed response to NewsMobile.



Go to Play Store, then tap Menu > My apps & games.
Tap UPDATE next to WhatsApp Messenger.


Open the App Store > Tap “Updates” > Find WhatsApp Messenger and hit “Update”

What really happened?

Sources say, Earlier this month, WhatsApp identified and fixed vulnerability that could enable an attacker to insert and execute code on mobile devices.

Simply put the hacker could make a whatsApp call and access your data and chat details. Late last week WhatsApp made changes to our infrastructure to deny the ability for this attack to take place.
WhatsApp is now asking users to update WhatsApp and, as always, keep their mobile OS updated, to receive the latest security protections. Sources told NewsMobile that they believe a select number of users were targeted through this vulnerability by an advanced cyber actor.
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, the sources added.
“We are deeply concerned about the abuse of such capabilities. We have briefed a number of human rights organizations to share the information we can and to work with them to notify civil society,” the source added
Whats App has also provided information to U.S. law enforcement to help them conduct an investigation.  “These are highly sophisticated attacks. We are early in our investigation and we don’t have numbers to share though this is a relatively small amount of people,” the source added.
Whats App has over 1.5 billion users and India is one of the biggest markets for the messenger platform that is known for its robust security features. Clearly this hack has again brought to the fore a key question of data security.


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