WhatsApp has issued an urgent app update today and users are urged to install it immediately. The update is a serious security error that hackers & # 39; surveillance software & # 39; install on your mobile phone.
Incredibly advanced malware
According to the WhatsApp security team, testing shows that the malware is actually an extremely safe toolkit of the type used by government intelligence agencies. With the help of a zero-day exploit, hackers were able to install surveillance software without the phone owner realizing there was a problem.
WhatsApp has not released many details about the malware, but it seems that a security error meant that the installation could be completed without any action by the owner of the phone. All they had to do was call the target phone with the WhatsApp call function – the victim didn't even have to answer the call. The malware also erases messages about missed calls, so the victim had no idea they were in danger.
No app is completely secure
WhatsApp is designed to be safe. The app uses end-to-end encryption to, for example, protect messages; if a hacker tries to intercept a message during transport, they cannot read the text. Only the sender and receiver can decode and read the messages.
But by accessing a victim's phone, the hackers can both read the address book and all sent and received messages. The infected smartphone performs all necessary decoding.
WhatsApp is clear that only a small number of people have been hacked using this new malware – most likely by a national state that spies on political enemies. The same & # 39; hole & # 39; on which malware can be installed, however, is present on every telephone running WhatsApp, so that you can become a victim later.
To prevent a violation, you must install the WhatsApp update as soon as possible. This will immediately close the loophole abused by hackers.
If you have not already done this, you must also install an antivirus program on your smartphone. For example, Panda & # 39; s Antivirus for Android scans your phone for known privacy issues, allowing you to resolve security issues and remove suspicious or risky apps. And the premium service offers a secure VPN connection to block unknown connections, reduce the risk of malware infection and filter out unwanted advertisements.
WhatsApp has earned its reputation for security and the way they have approached this violation has been responsible and responsive. There have been concerns about how the service will change since Facebook took over, but the introduction of malware is completely different from internal data collection operations. But while WhatsApp makes headlines again, it may be time to re-evaluate which app for secure messages you use in the future.