The attack was discovered in the beginning of May, and on Friday they also published an upgrade that clears the security hole. They all have one and a half and a half of their users – now they are advising to update the application.
For the invasion of phones, the attackers took advantage of the voice dialing feature. Malicious software was installed on the phone, even if the victim did not receive the call, but the call itself was often not recorded.
A mysterious Israeli company specializing in cyber warfare
According to the Financial Times, the Israeli company NSO, described as a “dealer with cyber arms,” is allegedly involved in the attack. Among other things, authors of the spyware Pegasus, which provides access to data via microphones and cameras on devices.
That they are the main suspects, can also be seen from the press release sent from WhatsAppa. They added that the attack was discovered by their security experts, which was also notified to the US Justice Ministry, among others.
They have already responded from the NSO and denied the guilt. They stressed that they do not use the priori equipment they are developing. They sell it to governments or government agencies “with the sole purpose of combating crime and terrorism”. They have also added that every suspicion of abuse is thoroughly checked.
Such washing of hands has not persuaded for a long time. Today, the Tel Aviv court will decide on the petition of Amnesty International, a humanitarian organization that requires the Israeli Defense Ministry to withdraw the permission from the NSO to export software, the BBC reports. At Amnesty International, they have evidence that many regimes use their tools to control journalists and activists.
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