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Do tablets and smartphones need security software? What is social engineering? WhatsApp today disclosed a vulnerability that allowed hackers to remotely exploit a bug in the app's audio call system to access sensitive information on an iPhone or Android device. According to The New York Times , attackers were able to insert malicious code into WhatsApp, allowing them to steal data, regardless of whether or not a WhatsApp phone call was answered. Security researchers said that the spyware that took advantage of this flaw featured characteristics of the Pegasus spyware from NSO Group, which is normally licensed to governments who purchase the spyware for installing on the devices of individuals who are the target of an investigation.
The vulnerability was described by WhatsApp as "nontrivial to deploy, limiting it to advanced and highly motivated actors," but it's not clear how long the security flaw was available nor how many people were affected. It was used to target a London lawyer who has been involved in lawsuits against the NSO Group, and security researchers believe others could have been targeted as well.
WhatsApp engineers "worked around the clock" to address the vulnerability, and made a patch available on Monday. The initial vulnerability was discovered ten days ago after WhatsApp found abnormal voice calling activity following complaints from the aforementioned lawyer. WhatsApp says that it has notified the Department of Justice and a "number of human rights organizations" about the issue.
Update: Reader comments suggested that some of the wording in this article was confusing or misleading, so we have updated it to make sure the details of the vulnerability are clear. Specifically, this issue impacted WhatsApp, not the iOS operating system. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum.
All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least posts. Tag: WhatsApp. Top Rated Comments View all. This exploit is sideloaded and delivered to WhatsApp outside of the App Store.
The App Store itself does not vet apps for vulnerabilities that would be impossible , but it does vet them for these types of warez directly. That sounds like iOS has the bigger security bug I just searched a little and it looks like this exploit is scoped solely to WhatsApp's VOIP stack and within the sandbox and whatever WhatsApp had permissions for. It will access all of your photos, if you've allowed WhatsApp access, for example.
I can't find any evidence of any additional system exploiting, yet. But this seems why it's able to affect such a wide range of systems - it is spyware within WhatsApp itself. That sounds like iOS has the bigger security bug Nah, not on iOS, it's so private and secure things like this or the carrier tracking situation could never be an iPhone issue. Two ridiculous comments. How come there's no updates for iOS or Android since, you know, this exploit also worked with WhatsApp on Android to fix this issue? NVM, because Apple. Now I don't use WhatsApp, never have but I do find it ironic that Huawei are being banned left right and centre yet ECI based equipment isn't, and now WhatsApp gets caught being a bad actor.
I guess it depends on how friendly you are with your spying counterparts and what financial arrangements you have in place with them, as I'm sure every country knows exactly who is spying on who globally.
These apps require that you know the iCloud login credentials of the target device. The software manufactures have legal license to sell their products and the disclaimer will make they trouble free from customer's illegal actions. What is phishing? Advanced Monitoring Features. Listen and record live phone calls as they happen, for training, quality control, or even archiving your own conversations.
It's good that iOS is so secure though, as Tim says what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone, oh hang on I found a link to the original Times article, and it is clear that the MacRumors article is mixing things up. From the article: " Digital attackers could use the vulnerability to insert malicious code and steal data from an Android phone or an iPhone simply by placing a WhatsApp call, even if the victim did not pick up the call. No mention of installing applications on the phone.
No mention that they could affect anything outside WhatsApp.
So they cannot do this today, with or without WhatsApp exploit. According to the New Times article, which is much clearer than the MacRumors one, no. There was no exploit against iOS. This attack was against the WhatsApp app only. Some facts: 1. NSO is an Israeli based company — not Israel.
Shocking not , the top messaging app in many countries is compromised by a State run security agency. The question is whether this was by accident, partnership or from someone on the inside. Apple's OS's, messaging apps and ROMs have to be prime targets by just about every security agency out there.
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