WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, is marketed as a secure messaging application available for iOS and Android users has been found to be open to hackers. The malicious code was made by a known Israeli company, NSO Group, who is known to work with governments to make spyware. This new code is capable of being delivered by users by making a phone call using the app. The payload is delivered even if the user does not answer the call. The code is designed to compromise data on a user’s phone and send the information back to the attacker. WhatsApp is being used by over 1.5 million users around the world and the vulnerability was stated to be open for approximately 10 days before a fix could be rolled out. This breach is the latest in a series of troubling issues that are affecting the Facebook company. Facebook has been receiving large amounts of criticism recently for allowing users’ data to be harvested by research companies.
WhatsApp has released an update and it is recommended to download the update as soon as possible. Users should also verify that all the apps being used on their phones are kept updated so the newest security protocols are installed.