What’s Up With the WhatsApp Breach?
The Facebook-owned chat app, WhatsApp, recently fell victim to an Israeli spy firm’s malware. The malware could be transmitted by placing a phone call, which proved effective even if the call was unanswered. The malicious code, which targeted both iPhone and Android devices, enabled the hackers to read chats, emails, and turn on the phone microphone and cameras.
If any consolation, representatives stated that only a select number of users appeared to be targeted, so it would seem that most users can relax a little. Nevertheless, it is always worrying when a data breach becomes a real possibility.
In response to the breach, WhatsApp is currently advising its 1.5 billion users to update the application and phone.
“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,” a spokeswoman for the company said.
The spyware was allegedly developed by Israel’s NSO Group, though the group denied its involvement in targeting victims of the attack.
NSO claimed that its technology was licensed strictly “for the sole purpose of fighting crime and terror,” seemingly suggesting that what happens with the tech once it leaves the company is the user’s responsibility.
Let this be a reminder that monitoring your online safety is an ongoing effort, and you can’t simply trust the apps or websites you use. Limit your usage and ensure the companies you’re entrusting your data to follow proper security standards. After news of a breach, always update your passwords and carefully monitor data and finances.