WhatsApp urges users to upgrade app after report of spyware attack

WhatsApp vulnerability allowed government-grade spyware to be installed on phones

NSO Group told the Financial Times it was investigating the issue and under no circumstances would it "be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology", which it said was exclusively operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Amnesty International said one user of the spyware targeted a staff member past year in Saudi Arabia - saying NSO's Pegasus surveillance tool was used to hijack the staffer's smartphone.

The app, owned by Facebook, said it had discovered a vulnerability in early May that could enable attackers to insert and execute code on mobile devices.

The NSO rejected any involvement in this act and said "Under no circumstances would NSO be involved in operating or identifying of targets of its technology". "We have briefed a number of human rights organizations to share the information we can and to work with them to notify civil society".

The company said it was still investigating the breach but believed only a "select number of users were targeted through this vulnerability by an advanced cyber actor".

The application's vulnerability allegedly allowed Israeli-based NSO Group's targeted spyware to install itself through voice calls on both iOS and Android devices whether the user answered the infected call or not.

In 2016, Emirati human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, reported being targeted with Pegasus spyware.

Prince Harry Gushes Over Baby Archie During Children's Hospital Visit
Harry was also out and about on Tuesday, taking a tour of Oxford, where he said he can not imagine life without son Archie . Several senior royals , including his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William , are due to meet Archie this week.

The revelation adds to the questions over the reach of the Israeli company's powerful spyware, which can hijack mobile phones, control their cameras and effectively turn them into pocket-sized surveillance devices. "The attack on Amnesty International was the final straw", Danna Ingleton, deputy director of Amnesty Tech, said in a statement.

WhatsApp is used by 1.5 billion people around the world.

No matter what you're doing, if you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, you should update it now. Israeli firm NSO is accused of being behind the exploit. After working to fix the problem on its own servers, it then released an update for users on May 13 which fixes the issue on the client side.

Spokespeople for NSO Group did not immediately respond to an email from AP seeking comment.

This is another reminder of how important it is to keep all the apps on your phone updated.

The group claims that NSO software "threatens the rights to privacy and to freedom of opinion and expression, in breach of Israel's obligations under global human rights law".

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