Disastrous bug hits whatsapp, users urged to update
Washington, May 14: WhatsApp users have been urged to update their app immediately, after it was hit by one of the Disastrous bug ever seen.
The vulnerability was discovered by the Facebook-owned WhatsApp in early May. It apparently leveraged a bug in the audio call feature of the app to allow the caller to allow the installation of spyware on the device being called, whether the call was answered or not.
The Financial Times identified the technology to use the attack appears to have been created by an Israel-based NSO Group's Pegasus, which is usually (ostensibly) licensed to governments looking to infect targets of investigations and gain access to various aspects of their devices.
However, an update is now available that fixes the bug, and security experts have urged users to ensure that their phones are up to date as soon as they can.
On iOS, it should be version 2.19.51, and on Android it needs to be 2.19.134 or later.
NSO, on the other hand, has rejected these claims that it did not use its technology to target the UK-based lawyer.
"NSO would not, or could not, use its technology in its own right to target any person or organisation, including this individual [the UK lawyer]," NSO said in a statement to the publication.
NSO's spyware has repeatedly been found deployed to hack journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders and dissidents. Most notably, the spyware was implicated in the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year and whose body has never been found.
Meanwhile, if you haven't updated WhatsApp on your smartphone, we recommend that you do soon to avoid your smartphone from getting affected by the hack.