Facebook-owned (FB) chat application WhatsApp has been reportedly found injected by an Israeli malware. The company has confirmed on the vulnerability and has asked users to update their software with the latest version available on the Play Store. The malware has been found to be used for surveillance on WhatsApp phone calls.
The Whatsapp messaging company was acquired by Facebook in 2014 and has been in speculation on the privacy and data collection practices followed by the company. However, this time, the tapping of conversations by a third party was unexpected by the users. This malware can tap phone calls intercept protected conversations, as reported by the Financial Times.
WhatsApp confirmed on this breach of privacy but has also not named the alleged company who is involved in this vulnerability of Whatsapp. A company spokesperson said that it urges people to update their mobile operating systems along with the app version, this is basically to protect against malware and various targeted programs. Apart from this, the updated version will also help in refraining the information which might have been stored to destroy or compromise on internal information.
What’s Up With WhatsApp?
The company said it was working with industry standards and partners to work on this breach and make it safe.
The Financial Times has gone ahead and named an Israeli cybersecurity firm – NSO Group for this perpetration. As per the information, few select individuals have been targeted and the company works with the government for creating and delivering spyware.
The company has declined to say anything on this issue. It became famous for its role in helping the FBI to open the phone of San Bernardino (mass shooter) when Apple had declined.
This is certainly a serious breach of trust for WhatsApp as a company as it bases its strength on end-to-end encryption, privacy, and security.
It became more popular amongst the users owing to the status of information via texts, calls, and messages as they seemed e safe and secure, besides being a selling USP for the company. The app is an informal medium of conducting business, sharing personal, legal and even political information.
The malware was used to decrypt the data in transit. Primarily, human rights activists were targeted and WhatsApp has approached to Justice Department Authorities for the same. While the company will have to cooperate on delivering all the information, it will also have to stay afloat in the good books of security conscious users for whom privacy and safety of their data and information are of utmost importance. This vulnerability to any company or individual program can be trouble for them as it makes them feel a breach of privacy.