WhatsApp asks users to update app after discovering spyware attack

Updated: May 15, 2019, 13:24 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

The messaging app WhatsApp has adviced its users to update their mobile operating system (OS) and apps following a suspected a spyware attack which can compromise critical data from phone devices

Representational image
Representational image

Popular messaging app WhatsApp has adviced its users to update their mobile operating system (OS) and apps following a suspected ‘spyware’ attack. Indian users will witness new updates in the next 24- 48 hours with a fix on the loophole that caused the spyware attack to gain ‘remote access’ by just making a WhatsApp Call.

As per global reports, the attacks are allegedly suspected to be from an Israeli firm. WhatsApp India spokesperson said, "Updating the app will protect against potential targeted threats designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices. We are constantly working alongside industry partners to provide the latest security enhancements to help protect our users."

Also Read: WhatsApp unveils 'tipline' to tackle fake news

According to TOI, these attacks are termed as ‘zero-day’ attack which has a hit rate of 100% and there is no antivirus that can stop or protect the information. India is one of its largest markets for WhatsApp, with over 200 million active users on a monthly base. Remote access of the attack can control a mobile device to extract critical information on devices like messages and call logs.

Also Read: Facebook denies cyber attack as Whatsapp, Instagram, Messenger suffer outage

Hitesh Dharamdasani, director, AnexGate which is a firm that helps companies against cyber-attacks with security solutions stated, “This would have a broader impact only when users don’t update their app or OS in the coming days. It could have a mass-level impact in the next three to four months if people continue to use the older versions. This has been the pattern in countries like India, China, Mexico where penetration is very high, but knowledge is very low.”

Also Read: WhatsApp spreading anti-vaccine news in India

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