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- What is known about the new WhatsApp vulnerability.
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Miscreants were first spotted exploiting the bug in early May to infect and compromise victims' smartphones, and changes were made in WhatsApp's backend software to block further attacks prior to the team rolling out fully patched versions of the app to users. It is not yet clear how many people were targeted and spied on in total, though the WhatsApp team is still investigating. Prosecutors in the US have been alerted. Victims usually get a text message that tries to trick them into following a link that fetches and installs the software nasty.
Now it seems NSO found a way to avoid any user interaction to achieve an automatic, silent infection. NSO Group has been bragging that it has no-click install capabilities for quite some time.
The real story here is that WhatsApp found the damn thing. While NSO claims it carefully vets its customers, the malware has been found on the phones of journalists, human rights campaigners, lawyers, and others. Citizen Lab, the Canadian non-profit that helps monitor the spread of Pegasus and its ilk, said someone tried to use the VoIP exploit as late as Sunday night to infect a UK-based human rights' lawyer's phone as Facebook engineers in London and San Francisco raced to push out patched versions of their software.
However, we're told, the intrusion attempt failed due to backend defenses put in place earlier that week. It's also understood the unnamed lawyer has helped people in Mexico and Saudi Arabia, who claim they have fallen victim to NSO Group's spyware, sue the company in Israel. However, the exploit developers denied any shenanigans.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International and others will this week urge the Israeli military to ban the export of NSO Group's software on the grounds it's sold to governments with, ahem, questionable track records on human rights. The lab then told WhatsApp, which was already working on closing the security hole after noticing strange crashes in its software's usage telemetry. Sponsored: Serverless Computing London - Nov The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community.
WhatsApp discovers 'targeted' surveillance attack - BBC News
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Time to check who left their database open and leaked 7. Uncle Sam demands summary judgement on Snowden memoir: We're not saying it's true, but no one should read it iBye, bad guy: Apple yanks 18 iOS store apps that sheltered advert-mashing malware Antivirus hid more than 9, 'cybercrime' reports from UK cops, says watchdog.
Policy The Channel Oh good. Red hangs up the Hydrogen phone as firm exits handset business Teardown gurus plunge screwdrivers into Google Pixel 4XL: Check out the speedy display from, er, Samsung Remember the s? Oversized shoulder pads, Metal Mickey and Play Huawei Artificial Intelligence Internet of Things Talk about a killer feature: Home, Home Mini gear replacements promised after fatal update bricks gadgets Voice-activated AI in the enterprise?
Verity Stob The eagle has handed Franco-stein's on the move: Spanish dictator turfed out of decadent mountaintop mausoleum.