Whatsapp Confirms Security Breach: What You Need To Know
Facebook-owned company said it had notified the United States Department of Justice to help with an investigation into the breach, which was discovered in early May.
It has previously touted its high level of security and privacy, with messages on its platform being encrypted end-to-end so WhatsApp and third parties cannot read or listen to them.
A WhatsApp spokesman said the attack was sophisticated and had all the hallmarks of a “private company working with governments on surveillance”.
It said it was “deeply concerned about the abuse” of surveillance technology, and it believed human rights activists may have been the targets of the breach.
“We’re working with human rights groups on learning as much as we can about who may have been impacted from their community. That’s really where our highest concern is,” a spokesman said.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, the lead regulator of WhatsApp in the European Union, said in a statement the vulnerability “may have enabled a malicious actor to install unauthorised software and gain access to personal data on devices which have WhatsApp installed”.
Claims of ‘chilling attacks on human rights defenders’
Scott Storey, a senior lecturer in cyber security at Sheffield Hallam University, said the attack appeared to be carried out by governments targeting specific people, mainly human rights campaigners.
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