WhatsApp vulnerability allowed government-grade spyware to be installed on phones

WhatsApp vulnerability allowed government-grade spyware to be installed on phones
WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging apps out there, has once again been the subject of hacking, but this time the method used involves a government-grade spyware. Although we have no information that would confirm who's behind the attack, the spyware used is usually sold to governments.

TechCrunch reports that the vulnerability discovered by WhatsApp just a few weeks ago, would allow a caller to install a spyware on the device being called, regardless of whether or not the could was answered.

The spyware installed was made by Israel-based NSO Group Pegasus, and is usually licensed to governments that want to hack targets of investigations and gain access to multiple aspects of their devices.

It's unclear how many Android and iOS devices were affected by the vulnerability, but as you can imagine, anyone with access to the spyware could hack any WhatsApp user. On the bright side, WhatsApp said that it took less than 10 days after it discovered the security issue to patch it. The company also belives that only a relatively small number of users were targeted by the attack.


If you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, installing the latest version of the app will render the attack inoperable, even if it was infected with the government-grade spyware.

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5 Comments

1. yalokiy

Posts: 997; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Never used the app and not sure if I ever will.

2. TheOracle1

Posts: 2259; Member since: May 04, 2015

Sounds like you're a US based iMessage lemming. It's by far the most popular messaging app in the world. The US isn't the world by the way.

4. Blazers

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Calm down son. You're getting yourself all worked up over nothing. Take some deep breaths and chill.

5. yalokiy

Posts: 997; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Lol. Never used iMessage either and I'm not from US.

3. shiv179

Posts: 164; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

"regardless of whether or not the could was answered" - did you mean "regardless of whether or not the *call* was answered" ?

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