WhatsApp sues Israeli surveillance contractor2019-10-30 19:04 by Daniela
Tags: WhatsApp, NSO Group
WhatsApp is suing Israeli company NSO Group that for being behind a cyberattack that installed spyware on users' phones and targeted more than 1,400 people in 20 countries.
The WhatsApp zero-day came to light in May this year. The exploit abused a feature in WhatsApp's VoIP calling feature. Targets would get a WhatsApp call, but specially crafted RTCP packets allowed an attacker to run malicious code that installed the NSO Group's Pegasus spyware kit on targeted devices - regardless if they were using Android or iPhones.
The messaging service said the victims included 100 journalists, prominent female leaders, several people who had been targeted with unsuccessful assassination attempts, political dissidents and human rights activists — as well as their families. The lawsuit did not say who was using NSO Group technology to target WhatsApp users. But the area codes for a number of phones that had been attacked indicated a focus on people in Mexico, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
"This should serve as a wake-up call for technology companies, governments and all internet users," WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post on Tuesday. "Tools that enable surveillance into our private lives are being abused, and the proliferation of this technology into the hands of irresponsible companies and governments puts us all at risk," he said.
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