With more than 1.5 billion active users WhatsApp is without a doubt the most popular messaging app in the world. However, nothing is perfect, and it seems that the developers are facing a new problem. A vulnerability allowed third-party entities to use WhatsApp as a mean to inject dangerous malware by using the built-in call function.
The vulnerability could be exploited by special spyware created by the renowned Israeli cyber intelligence company called NSA group, who was also the first to find it.
According to select sources, an attacker could send the malicious code to a target device by calling the users. The task could be completed by even if the target didn’t answer the call, and the log of incoming calls was reset to prevent detection.
WhatsApp urged users to update the app to tackle the new vulnerability
WhatsApp acknowledged the vulnerability and the issue were quickly solved. An update which should address the vulnerability was released on Monday and users are advised to update their app to avoid any potential issues.
Extra steps were also taken as the company decided to inform the US law enforcement about the threat and published a CVE notice which can be accessed by cybersecurity experts who wish to learn more about the exploit.
The vulnerability was present among all the devices which run WhatsApp and WhatsApp for Business, including Android, iOS, Windows Mobile and Tizen.
The number of affected people isn’t known at this point, but it is already known that high-profile targets, including a human rights lawyer and research from Amnesty International, were affected. As it was previously mentioned an update which should address the issue is already available. Visit the default app store on your platform and update your app. The process should take just a few seconds.
It is also important to install the latest WhatsApp firmware update for your device since they include valuable security patches which can keep your device safe.
Katie Tachuck is a reporter for News Lair. After graduating from UCLA, Katie got an internship at a local radio station and worked as a investigative journalist and producer. Katie has also worked as a columnist for the The Santa Fe New Mexican. Katie covers economy and community events for News Lair.