WhatsApp filed a lawsuit against Israel-based surveillance company NSO Group on Tuesday for allegedly spying on users through the messenger. The attack would have used a vulnerability in the app's calls to malware-infect the smartphones of some 1,400 users in 20 countries, including Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, allowing access to victims' conversation content.
The lawsuit filed in a federal court in San Francisco says the attack would benefit the company's customers allegedly governments and intelligence agencies. The attack was reportedly targeted by diplomats, politicians, journalists and senior government officials. NSO has denied all allegations.
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WhatsApp sues company for alleged espionage of users Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo
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According to the process, hackers could take advantage of the breach in calls to infiltrate malicious code into the device and install malware. WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption that ensures privacy for in-app conversations. However, if the device on which messages are sent and received is hacked, it may be possible to access them remotely.
Citizen Lab, a digital security research lab at the University of Toronto, Canada, worked on identifying the issue in conjunction with WhatsApp, which has already fixed the vulnerability. In response, the NSO stated that "in the strongest terms possible, we challenge today's claims and will fight them vigorously."
This is not the first time that NSO is involved in such polymers. The company had already been implicated in abuse in Panama and an attempt to spy on an employee of Amnesty International's human rights group in London.
* Collaborated Rubens Achilles
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