WhatsApp reveals attackers installed surveillance software
First, as discovered recently, it was Amazon listening in on those using its Echo system at home. Amazon claimed it was only in order to monitor quality control! Now, the Australian Financial Review reports this in relation Facebook's WhatsApp:
"WhatsApp, which is used by 1.5 billion people worldwide, discovered in early May that attackers were able to install surveillance software on to both iPhones and Android phones by ringing up targets using the app’s phone call function.
The malicious code, developed by the secretive Israeli company NSO Group, could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls often disappeared from call logs, said the spyware dealer, who was recently briefed on the WhatsApp hack.
WhatsApp is too early into its own investigations of the vulnerability to estimate how many phones were targeted using this method, a person familiar with the issue said.
As late as Sunday, as WhatsApp engineers raced to close the loophole, a UK-based human rights lawyer’s phone was targeted using the same method.Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said they believed that the spyware attack on Sunday was linked to the same vulnerability that WhatsApp was trying to patch."