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Latest Hack Sparks Concern Whatsapp Will Never Be Secure
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Facebook’s popular messaging app with 1.5 billion users in over 180 countries has another major vulnerability. Hackers were able to covertly install spyware on iOS and Android smartphones using Whatsapp with just a phone call. “All of their security issues are conveniently suitable for surveillance, and look and work a lot like backdoors,” said Telegram’s founder, who doubts Whatsapp will ever be secure.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request

A Phone Call Is All It Takes
Whatsapp and its parent company, Facebook, revealed last week that a major vulnerability had been discovered in the popular messaging service and urged users to update the app. The Financial Times reported that this latest vulnerability in Whatsapp had been open for weeks, allowing hackers to inject Israeli spyware onto mobile phones simply by calling targets, noting:

The malicious code, developed by the secretive Israeli company NSO Group, could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls often disappeared from call logs.
The publication further detailed, “Within minutes of the missed call, the phone starts revealing its encrypted content, mirrored on a computer screen halfway across the world. It then transmits back the most intimate details such as private messages and location, and even turns on the camera and microphone to live-stream meetings.” The news outlet added that “The software itself is not new — it was the latest upgrade to a decade-old technology so powerful that the Israeli defence ministry regulates its sale. But the Whatsapp hack was an enticing new ‘attack vector.'”

While the hackers who gained access by exploiting the vulnerability in Whatsapp’s call functionality have not been identified at press time, the company clarified in a statement:

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.

Whatsapp is a free messaging and voice over IP service which allows users to send text messages, images, documents, and other media, as well as place voice and video calls. It was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for $19 billion. In July last year, Whatsapp said it had more than 1.5 billion users in over 180 countries, making it the most popular messaging app worldwide.
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Latest Hack Sparks Concern Whatsapp Will Never Be Secure51