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Hackers Using WhatsApp To Install Malware On Phones

By June 4, 2019May 17th, 2022Cybersecurity

If you’re among the masses of people using WhatsApp, for either Android or iOS, be advised that the Israeli hacking consortium known as the NSO Group may have installed spyware on the device you use WhatsApp on.

A massive security flaw identified as CVE-2019-3568 has been discovered and weaponized by the NSO Group.

This allows them to install spyware and steal a variety of data from impacted devices.  Worse, the group is installing their Pegasus spyware, which is among the most advanced on the planet. It’s very good at hiding itself, deleting incoming calls, and other log information in order to remain hidden.

The good news is that Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, has patched the flaw with an update. As long as you’re using the latest version, you’re protected.  Unfortunately, not everyone keeps their apps up to date. Prior to the patch being released, all 1.5 billion of the app’s users were considered vulnerable.

According to the official company statement:

“The issue affects WhatsApp for Android prior to v2.19.134, WhatsApp Business for Android prior to v2.19.44, WhatsApp for iOS prior to v2.19.51, WhatsApp Business for iOS prior to v2.19.51, WhatsApp for Windows Phone prior to v2.18.348, and WhatsApp for Tizen prior to 2.18.15.”

Although millions of users have already updated their software, the sad reality is that for most people, keeping apps up to date generally ranks quite low on their list of priorities. That means there are still untold millions of users who are vulnerable.

If you use the app or if you know anyone who does, the best thing you can do is to update to the latest version right away and have your phone thoroughly scanned to be sure you don’t have the Pegasus Spyware already embedded in your system.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.