Imagine being spied by cyber criminals while using your favorite messaging app. A mere thought of your web browsing activities being monitored by the unknown can leave anyone spooked.
According to recent tech news, the Facebook-owned subsidiary, Whatsapp was manipulated by cyber-invaders to install scrutiny malware on few preferred smart-phones.
The cyber criminals abused a security flaw in the Whatsapp to infect the mobile devices with spyware. They simply gave a missed call on the victim’s phone by using Whatsapp’s voice calling utility & boom! They were in!
The recent Whatsapp Hack was discovered in early May. Apparently, the cyber attack took advantage of a defect in the audio call utility of Whatsapp. This security vulnerability permitted the cyber-threat actors to inject surveillance software on the called device.
Spyware installed on the mobile devices is said to be developed & sold by an Israel-based organization- NSO Group.
NSO Group is globally acclaimed for engineering the most advanced mobile surveillance programs. One such program, Pegasus Spyware, was employed by hackers to abuse buffer overflow susceptibility in Whatsapp.
The vulnerability empowered the remote hackers to implement a random code on the intended mobile devices. A string of specifically designed SRTCP packets were employed to send the code.
Researchers said that the recognized security flaw, CVE-2019-3568, can be effortlessly exploited to fix spyware in to the device & whip sensitive information of the phone users.
Surprisingly, the spyware application can be installed on the mobile device regardless of the fact the audio call was answered by the user or not.
In addition to that, the spyware deletes all the incoming call records so as to operate stealthily. By no means, the intrusion could be detected by the user.
The number of users impacted in the recent Whatsapp Hack is still vague; however, a “selected number” of users were reported to have been impacted by Pegasus Spyware.
The Spyware is known to have impacted iPhones, Windows & Android Phones.
The Whatsapp Cyber Breach allowed the hackers to furtively gain remote access to sensitive information of the victims. The gathered information includes Whatsapp chats, text messages, e-mails, contact list, call records, location of the device, phone’s microphone & camera.
The Whatsapp Engineers strived for a period of 10 days to mend the defect & introduce secured version to the users. The updated & secured Whatsapp version was released on 13th May 2019 in order to render the attack inoperable.
Whatsapp has asked the users to check for amendments manually & update the Whatsapp to the latest revised version. The users have been advised to keep their mobile OS up-to-date in order to shield the smart-phones against any potential cyber threat.
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