WhatsApp discovers major 'targeted' surveillance attack

WhatsApp have today announced a vulnerability that could have allowed users’ phones to be compromised. You can read WhatsApp’s security advisory here.

The company has reportedly said that a small number of accounts have been affected and has told its users to update their apps using standard updates from the app store as a precaution

Digitpol recommends users of all phone types and operating systems that you protect your device by installing updates and set devices to auto update. Updates contain vital security patches and fixes to help protect your mobile phone, tablet or PC.

Digitpol strongly recommends that you switch on automatic updates. If your unsure how to do this, you can contact us for advise.

What phones have been affected?

WhatsApp have said that it was a targeted campaign and that “dozens” of accounts could have been affected.

The affected versions of the app relate to;

  • WhatsApp for iOS prior to v2.19.51
  • WhatsApp for Tizen prior to v2.18.15
  • WhatsApp for Android prior to v2.19.134
  • WhatsApp Business for iOS prior to v2.19.51
  • WhatsApp Business for Android prior to v2.19.44
  • WhatsApp for Windows Phone prior to v2.18.348

How to update WhatsApp

Android 

  • Visit the play store, click on menu and choose ‘My apps and games’. Tap update next to the WhatsApp messenger.

iPhone

  • Visit the app store, click updates and refresh. Tap update next to the WhatsApp messenger

Windows Phone 8.1

  • Visit the store and select menu. Click on ‘My apps’ and select WhatsApp to update.

Windows Phone 10

  • Visit the Microsoft store and click on ‘Menu’. Select ‘My Library’ and tap ‘Update’ next to WhatsApp.

Backround:

Hackers were able to remotely install surveillance software on phones and other devices using a major vulnerability in messaging app WhatsApp, it has been confirmed.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, said the attack targeted a "select number" of users and was orchestrated by "an advanced cyber-actor".

A fix was rolled out on Friday.

On Monday, WhatsApp urged all of its 1.5 billion users to update their apps as an added precaution. Facebook first discovered the flaw in WhatsApp earlier in May.

Are you effected?

If you think your device has been compromised, Digitpol can assist you by conducting a forensic examination on your device to detect traces of spyware or malware.

More information is available online and users are advised to follow the advise of official cyber information centers.

 

 

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