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Hackers Used WhatsApp 0-Day Flaw to Secretly Install Spyware On Phones

Hackers Used WhatsApp 0-Day Flaw to Secretly Install Spyware On Phones

May 14, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Whatsapp has recently patched a severe vulnerability that was being exploited by attackers to remotely install surveillance malware on a few "selected" smartphones by simply calling the targeted phone numbers over Whatsapp audio call. Discovered, weaponized and then sold by the Israeli company NSO Group that produces the most advanced mobile spyware on the planet, the WhatsApp exploit installs Pegasus spyware on to Android and iOS devices. According to an advisory published by Facebook, a buffer overflow vulnerability in WhatsApp VOIP stack allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on target phones by sending a specially crafted series of SRTCP packets. Apparently, the vulnerability, identified as CVE-2019-3568 , can successfully be exploited to install the spyware and steal data from a targeted Android phone or iPhone by merely placing a WhatsApp call, even when the call is not answered. Also, the victim would not be able to find out about the intrusion af
Just Answering A Video Call Could Compromise Your WhatsApp Account

Just Answering A Video Call Could Compromise Your WhatsApp Account

October 10, 2018Swati Khandelwal
What if just receiving a video call on WhatsApp could hack your smartphone? This sounds filmy, but Google Project Zero security researcher Natalie Silvanovich found a critical vulnerability in WhatsApp messenger that could have allowed hackers to remotely take full control of your WhatsApp just by video calling you over the messaging app. The vulnerability is a memory heap overflow issue which is triggered when a user receives a specially crafted malformed RTP packet via a video call request, which results in the corruption error and crashing the WhatsApp mobile app. Since the vulnerability affect RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) implementation of Whatsapp, the flaw affects Android and iOS apps, but not WhatsApp Web that relies on WebRTC for video calls. Silvanovich also published a proof-of-concept exploit, along with the instructions for reproducing the WhatsApp attack. Although the proof-of-concept published by Silvanovich only triggers memory corruption, another Go
WhatsApp Flaw Lets Users Modify Group Chats to Spread Fake News

WhatsApp Flaw Lets Users Modify Group Chats to Spread Fake News

August 08, 2018Swati Khandelwal
WhatsApp, the most popular messaging application in the world, has been found vulnerable to multiple security vulnerabilities that could allow malicious users to intercept and modify the content of messages sent in both private as well as group conversations. Discovered by security researchers at Israeli security firm Check Point, the flaws take advantage of a loophole in WhatsApp's security protocols to change the content of the messages, allowing malicious users to create and spread misinformation or fake news from "what appear to be trusted sources." The flaws reside in the way WhatsApp mobile application connects with the WhatsApp Web and decrypts end-to-end encrypted messages using the protobuf2 protocol . The vulnerabilities could allow hackers to misuse the 'quote' feature in a WhatsApp group conversation to change the identity of the sender, or alter the content of someone else's reply to a group chat, or even send private messages to one of
How One Photo Could Have Hacked Your WhatsApp and Telegram Accounts

How One Photo Could Have Hacked Your WhatsApp and Telegram Accounts

March 15, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Next time when someone sends you a photo of a cute cat or a hot chick on WhatsApp or Telegram then be careful before you click on the image to view — it might hack your account within seconds. A new security vulnerability has recently been patched by two popular end-to-end encrypted messaging services — WhatsApp and Telegram — that could have allowed hackers to completely take over user account just by having a user simply click on a picture. The hack only affected the browser-based versions of WhatsApp and Telegram, so users relying on the mobile apps are not vulnerable to the attack. According to Checkpoint security researchers, the vulnerability resided in the way both messaging services process images and multimedia files without verifying that they might have hidden malicious code inside. For exploiting the flaw, all an attacker needed to do was sending the malicious code hidden within an innocent-looking image. Once the victim clicked on the picture, the attacker coul
WhatsApp Adds​ ​2-Step Verification Passcode — Enable this Security Feature

WhatsApp Adds​ ​2-Step Verification Passcode — Enable this Security Feature

November 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
WhatsApp has introduced a new security feature that fixes a loophole in the popular messaging platform, which if exploited, could allow an attacker to hijack victim's account with just knowing the victim's phone number and some hacking skills. The attack does not exploit any vulnerability in WhatsApp; instead, it relies on the way the account setup mechanism works. WhatsApp allows users to sign up to the app using their phone number, so if an attacker wants to hijack your WhatsApp account, they would require an OTP (One time password) send to your phone number. The attacker can grab this OTP by diverting the SMS containing the passcode to their own computer or phone, using either a malicious app or SS7 vulnerability , and then log into the victim's WhatsApp account. The attack even works in case the phone is locked. In August, Iranian state-sponsored hackers reportedly hijacked over dozens of Telegram accounts belonging to activists and journalists by exploiting a
Germany Bans Facebook From Collecting WhatsApp Data

Germany Bans Facebook From Collecting WhatsApp Data

September 27, 2016Mohit Kumar
Just last month, the most popular messaging app WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and T&Cs to start sharing its user data with its parent company, and now both the companies are in trouble, at least in Germany and India. Both Facebook, as well as WhatsApp, have been told to immediately stop collecting and storing data on roughly 35 Million WhatsApp users in Germany. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Johannes Caspar even ordered Facebook on Tuesday to delete all data that has already been forwarded to WhatsApp since August. Also in India, the Delhi High Court on September 23 ordered WhatsApp to delete all users’ data from its servers up until September 25 when the company’s new privacy policy came into effect. When Facebook first acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash in 2014, WhatsApp made a promise that its users’ data would not be shared between both companies. But now apparently this has changed, which, according to Caspa
How to Crash Your Friends' WhatsApp Just By Sending Crazy Smileys

How to Crash Your Friends' WhatsApp Just By Sending Crazy Smileys

December 22, 2015Swati Khandelwal
What would require crashing the wildly popular WhatsApp messaging application? Nearly 4000 Smileys . Yes, you can crash your friends'  WhatsApp , both WhatsApp Web and mobile application, by sending them not any specially crafted messages, but just Smileys. Indrajeet Bhuyan , an independent researcher, has reported The Hacker News a new bug in WhatsApp that could allow anyone to remotely crash most popular messaging app just by sending nearly 4000 emojis to the target user, thereby affecting up to 1 Billion users. Bhuyan is the same researcher who reported a very popular WhatsApp crash bug last year that required 2000 words ( 2kb in size ) message in the special character set to remotely crash Whatsapp messenger app. After this discovery, the company patched the bug by setting up the limits of characters in WhatsApp text messages, but unfortunately, it failed to set up limits for smileys send via WhatsApp. "In WhatsApp Web, Whatsapp allows 65500-660
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