Security engineers from Facebook discovered a major security flaw in WhatsApp and are now recommending that everyone updates their app to get the security patch.
The flaw, published in this security advisory, is found in the audio call function of WhatsApp and can allow spyware (malicious software that spies on the user) to take root in Android or iOS smartphones.
Indeed, that’s been the case for a few unsuspecting WhatsApp users.
“This attack has all the hallmarks of a private company known to work with governments to deliver spyware that reportedly takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson.
According to The Financial Times, which first reported this story, the WhatsApp hack comes from an Israeli firm called NSO Group, known for creating phone hacking software.
The same report says that the malicious code could be transmitted even if the victim did not answer their phone in a WhatsApp call and that a human rights lawyer’s phone was targeted using this attack.
Needless to say, make sure you update WhatsApp ASAP. It’s probably best if you turn on automatic updates for all the apps you use, because malicious hackers often target outdated software.