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Pegasus WhatsApp Spyware Could Invade Your Cell Phone! Pegasus WhatsApp Spyware Could Invade Your Cell Phone!
WhatsApp is one of the most popular iOS and Android apps used today, with about 1.5 billion active users. It was recently... Pegasus WhatsApp Spyware Could Invade Your Cell Phone!

WhatsApp is one of the most popular iOS and Android apps used today, with about 1.5 billion active users. It was recently revealed that Pegasus Spyware, created by Israel’s NSO group, was being used to target WhatsApp accounts.

In technical terms, here’s what happened according to Facebook:

“A buffer overflow vulnerability in WhatsApp VOIP stack allowed remote code execution via specially crafted series of SRTCP packets sent to a target phone number.”

In general, all that needed to be done for the spyware to invade your account was a simple phone call made to your phone from the spy perpetrator. You didn’t even have to answer the call for it to access your phone. Not only could the Pegasus spyware access your WhatsApp account, but also your emails, location data, and messages. Plus, it could remotely turn on your phone’s mic, and camera, to spy on you.

What Is Pegasus?

As said before, Pegasus is a spyware program created by Israel’s NSO group. This program’s original intention was to be used by law enforcement and governments to fight crime and international terrorism. However, like in this recent case Pegasus has been misused to target civilians,. Sadly, there is no way to prevent this spyware from being abused by its users.

What Is Being Done About This WhatsApp Spyware?

The spyware attack was blocked by WhatsApp and Facebook, and they are working on patching the vulnerability. They did warn that if you are using any of the below WhatsApp systems, you may have been open to being targeted.

    • WhatsApp for Android prior to v2.19.134
    • WhatsApp Business for Android prior to v2.19.44
    • WhatsApp for iOS prior to v2.19.51
    • WhatsApp Business for iOS prior to v2.19.51
    • WhatsApp for Windows Phone prior to v2.18.348
    • WhatsApp for Tizen prior to v2.18.15

At this time, it is unknown how many accounts have been affected.

What You Can Do To Protect Your WhatsApp Account

There are three main actions that WhatsApp and Facebook are advising WhatsApp users to take.

Update Your WhatsApp App

    • For Android:
      • Go to the Play Store.
      • Click on the menu (three horizontal lines).
      • Tap My apps & games.
      • Click on Update next to WhatsApp Messenger if it appears.
    • For iPhone:
      • Go to the App Store.
      • Click on Updates.
      • Next to WhatsApp Messenger (if it appears), tap Update.
    • For Windows Phone 8.1:
      • Go to Store → my apps → WhatsApp → Update.
    • For Windows Phone 10
      • Click on the Microsoft Store.
      • Tap on the menu (three horizontal lines).
      • Choose My Library.
      • Click on Update next to WhatsApp

Update Your Phone’s Operating System

The process of updating your phone’s operating system (OS) will differ depending on you phone’s type and manufacturer. Typically, you can just go to your settings and click on system or software update.

Check Your WhatsApp Privacy Settings

A general precaution you can take to protect your personal information is to regularly check your WhatsApp privacy settings.

    • Open your WhatsApp app.
    • Tap on More options, which may appear as three vertical dots.
    • Go to Settings → Account → Privacy
    • Review your privacy settings and change them to your liking.

 

Even with taking these precautions on WhatsApp or other apps, you still may not be protected from future spyware and app vulnerability issues.

Related Post: Is It Possible To WhatsApp Spy On Someone?

Fran Farner

Fran Farner

I am all about helping parents learn the ins and outs of raising a child from online safety to hiring the best babysitter.