WhatsApp said recently that a major security breach allowed hackers to install spyware on some users’ phone by calling them through the application voice call. It could be installed whether or not the victim answered the call and once is installed the record of the call is removed from the phone. The spyware has the ability to activate a phone’s camera and microphone.
WhatsApp platform is used by 1.5 billion people and all brands of phones with both WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business were affected. However, the number of infected phones is not yet known.
It was confirmed that UK-based human rights and an Amnesty researcher have been targeted. It is unlikely that your phone has been infected if you did not receive a voice call from an unknown number on WhatsApp, however, if you should be very cautious if you are working for a law firm or a sensitive industry.
In order to be on the safe side, it is highly recommended to update your WhatsApp to the latest version. Although phones get updates automatically, it is advised to check for them manually in your Apple or Google Play store, Microsoft or Galaxy app store. Another way is to simply uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp.
Updating phone’s operating system is as critical to protecting yourself as having your lasts applications version. It is not recommended to use a phone that is not supported by software updates. Google’s Pixel smartphones receive at least three years of monthly security and Android version updates while iPhones usually get at least five years of software support. All Android devices updates are dependent on the manufacturer brand.
Why are software updates important?
Because hackers’ techniques and methods are becoming more and more sophisticated and vulnerabilities are found all the time. While software makers are able to fix these security holes the user cannot get the support unless is updating the phone with the latest update.
Nicole Hicks a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto but travels much of the year. Nicole has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Nicole is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing.