Hackers found a way to use messaging app WhatsApp to install spyware onto phones.
The Financial Times reported that a vulnerability in the popular app — which currently has 1.5 billion users worldwide — allowed the attackers to install commercial Israeli surveillance spyware onto both iPhones and Android phones via the app’s phone call function. In fact, the malicious code could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones.
The code was developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, creator of Pegasus, a program that can turn on a phone’s microphone and camera, search through emails and messages, and collect location data. NSO claims the product was designed to fight terrorism and crime, and advertises it to Middle Eastern and Western intelligence agencies.