It’s been a day of high-profile security incidents. First there was news the popular WhatsApp messenger app was hacked. Updated versions of WhatsApp have been released, which you should install if you’re one of the more than one billion people who use the app.
WhatsApp has confirmed that a security flaw in the app let attackers install spy software on their targets’ smartphones. The spyware install on a host phone via a WhatsApp call. The spyware deletes all WhatsApp call logs to become untraceable.
On Wednesday, chip-maker Intel confirmed that new problems discovered with some of its processors could reveal secret information to attacks.
What’s scary about this spyware is that it can slip on any WhatsApp users’ smartphone without giving the slightest clue that their devices have been infected. All it takes is a WhatsApp call.
The WhatsApp news was revealed first by the Financial Times, which says the bug was used in an attempt to access content on the phone of a UK-based human rights lawyer.
That has left many of its 1.5 billion users wondering how safe the “simple and secure” messaging app really is. How trustworthy are apps and devices?
No. Messages on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, meaning they are scrambled when they leave the sender’s device. The messages can be decrypted by the recipient’s device only.
WhatsApp is arguably one of the most popular social messaging apps in the world. In the recent times, the Facebook-owned social messaging app has been under fire owing to the rampant spread of misinformation on its platform. But never has the app been under seige by a malware. That is until now.
WhatsApp has rolled out an update to its servers. It has also rolled out a security patch on to its Android and iOS apps to safeguard your phone data. Software patches have been released by several vendors, including Microsoft. You should install security updates from vendors promptly, including these.