Hackers gained control of WhatsApp as they installed surveillance software on phones and other devices running the app.
WhatsApp, a messaging app, owned by Facebook, said the attack was targeted at a few of its users by a very sophisticated hacker, BBC News reports.
A fix that was meant to counter the surveillance software was rolled out on Friday, May 10, as WhatsApp asked all its users to update their apps as a general precaution to the attack.
It was gathered that the hacker-software was developed by a firm called NSO Group.
Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp, said they first discovered the flaw in the app sometimes in May 2018.
With WhatsApp end-to-end encryption, messages are only to be shown on recipient’s device but the hack meant that the attacker had access to peoples’ messages. The attacker took control of people’s WhatsApp by falsely ringing their phones twice to install the software.
The interesting thing about it all is that the target does not need to pick up the software before the launch is activated.
After the call, trace of the fake call is cleaned from the call log without the recipient known when the call was made or who did.
"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 company said.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that WhatsApp announced that it would stop working on all Windows smartphones as from December 2019.
What that means is that the chatting app will no longer operate on all mobile phones running on Windows operating system.
Whatsapp also warned that some features of the app may stop working at any time before the service is totally pulled off on Microsoft powered devices.
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