Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Front page - let­[email protected]­dus­tan­

urged users on Tues­day to up­date its mes­sag­ing ap­pli­ca­tion, fol­low­ing a re­port that a vul­ner­a­bil­ity al­lowed at­tack­ers to hack into and snoop on peo­ple’s phones us­ing com­mer­cial Is­raeli spy­ware.

The chat app, owned by Face­book Inc, said it had dis­cov­ered a vul­ner­a­bil­ity in early May that could en­able at­tack­ers to in­sert and ex­e­cute code on mo­bile de­vices. What­sApp said it made changes to its in­fra­struc­ture late last week to block the at­tacks from tak­ing place, adding that only a se­lect num­ber of users ap­peared to have been tar­geted through the vul­ner­a­bil­ity by an ad­vanced cy­ber ac­tor, Bloomberg re­ported. “What­sApp en­cour­ages peo­ple to up­grade to the lat­est ver­sion of our app, as well as keep their mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem up to date, to pro­tect against po­ten­tial tar­geted ex­ploits de­signed to com­pro­mise in­for­ma­tion stored on mo­bile de­vices,” a spokes­woman for the com­pany said Tues­day.

The state­ment fol­lows a re­port by the Fi­nan­cial Times that at­tack­ers were able to in­stall sur­veil­lance soft­ware, de­vel­oped by Is­raeli com­pany NSO Group, on iPhones and An­droid de­vices by call­ing targets us­ing the app’s phonecall func­tion.

What­sApp said the at­tack has the hall­marks of a pri­vate com­pany that works with gov­ern­ments to de­liver spy­ware, which takes over con­trol of mo­bile phone op­er­at­ing sys­tems.

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