After Spyware Scandal, WhatsApp Explains How To Prevent Pegasus Attack

Anindita | December 2, 2019 | 0 | Mobile Operator

After Spyware Scandal, WhatsApp Explains How To Prevent Pegasus Attack

The Pegasus spyware reportedly affected 1,400 users across 20 countries.

New Delhi:

Hit by a spyware scandal affecting several mobile phone users across the world, WhatsApp has told likely victims that they should install the latest version of the messaging software and actively update the mobile operating system of their devices to ensure protection against future attacks.

The Facebook-owned messaging service listed the two precautionary measures in a message to users it believed were affected by the sophisticated Pegasus spyware. “How to stay secure: Always use the latest version of WhatsApp and keep your mobile operating system updated to receive the latest security protections,” it read.

The message also explained that while WhatsApp had earlier stopped an “advanced cyber actor” from exploiting its video-calling service to install spyware in certain mobile phones, there was a possibility that the device in question could have been affected.

This message was sent to likely victims of the spyware scandal before Facebook sued cybersecurity company NSO for over $75,000 in damages on Tuesday. It has alleged that the Israeli firm illegally used WhatsApp servers to sneak Pegasus into phones belonging to 1,400 users across 20 countries.

In India, the targeted users reportedly comprised journalists, activists, lawyers and senior government officials. Bela Bhatia, an activist working in Chhattisgarh, hinted at a deeper conspiracy behind the scandal. “The person who called me explained how I had been targeted, telling me that ‘we can clearly and categorically say your own government has done this’,” she told NDTV.

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