An insider reveals how the nasty spyware used in the WhatsApp breach lets governments secretly access everything in your smartphone, from text messages to the microphone and cameras
- WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned messaging app used by more than 1.5 billion people around the world, recently found a major security flaw, the Financial Times reported.
- The hack is reportedly as simple as receiving a WhatsApp phone call, even if you don't pick up the call. A record of the call can even be remotely erased, the report says.
- The WhatsApp exploit enables the installation of software from the NSO Group, a secretive firm from Israel that bills itself as a leader in cyber warfare and is behind a notoriously invasive software tool called Pegasus.
- Pegasus enables users to remotely access everything in an infected smartphone, from text messages to location data - and it's next to impossible to know if your phone was infected.
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If you're not a cybersecurity researcher, it's extremely difficult to know if your phone has been infected with spyware."The really sophisticated stuff is going to be designed to be very light touch and not be very observable by the user," John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School, told Business Insider.
Pegasus was created by the Israel-based NSO Group, a software company that sells that spyware to governments all over the world.If your phone is infected with Pegasus, it's nearly impossible to know - and that's why it was so particularly dangerous that a massive security flaw in the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging service, revealed this week by the Financial Times, enabled hackers to install Pegasus on target phones simply by calling them.
What happened with WhatsApp?
What is Pegasus?Advertisement
How do you know if your phone is infected with spyware like Pegasus? If the hackers are doing their job right, it's extremely difficult to find out.
Who makes Pegasus? And how is it used?Advertisement
What are some Pegasus abuse cases?
What can you do?Advertisement
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