The popular messaging platform WhatsApp has become a topic of conversation for quite some time. It comes with various security features, such as the use of end-to-end encryption to keep messages private. Despite having such functions, hackers try various ways and means to compromise the privacy of your messages and contacts.
See the eight ways WhatsApp can be hacked:
Remote code execution via GIF
Security researcher Awakened had previously revealed a vulnerability in WhatsApp that allows hackers to take control of the application with the help of a GIF image. It works in a way that hackers take advantage of the way WhatsApp processes images when the user opens Gallery view to send a media file.
After that, the application parses the GIF to show a preview of the file. GIF files have multiple encoded frames, which means that multiple codes are hidden within the image.
If a hacker plans to send a malicious GIF to a user, he could hack into the user’s entire chat history and can also find out who is sending messages to the user along with the files, photos, and videos sent via WhatsApp. The vulnerability affected WhatsApp versions up to 2.19.230 on Android 8.1 and 9.
Hack Whatsapp Without Spyware Bot 2021
Pegasus voice call attack The Pegasus voice call attack was discovered in early 2019. Through this attack, hackers Computer scientists used to gain access to a device simply by making a WhatsApp voice call, and even if the user does not answer the call, the attack would be successful. The user is also not aware that the malware has been installed on his device.
This attack installed older and well-known spyware called Pegasus which allows hackers to collect data about phone calls, messages, photos, and videos. It even allows them to activate the devices’ cameras and microphones to make recordings.
This type of attack was used by the Israeli company NSO Group, which has been accused of spying on Amnesty International staff and other human rights activists. After the news of the hack broke, WhatsApp was updated to protect it from this attack.
Social EngineeringWhatsApp is vulnerable to social engineering attacks, as it exploits human psychology to steal information or spread misinformation.
Security firm Check Point Research revealed one such attack called Fakes App that allowed people to misuse the quote feature in the group chat and alter the text of someone else’s reply. Taking advantage of that, hackers could plant false statements that appear to come from other legitimate users.
This was made possible by decrypting WhatsApp communications and allowing them to see the data sent between the mobile version and the web version of WhatsApp.
After that, they could change the values in group chats and impersonate other people, sending messages that appeared to be theirs. Text responses can also be changed.
- Capture of multimedia files The capture offiles
multimedia severely affects both WhatsApp and Telegram. This attack takes advantage of the way that applications receive multimedia files such as photos or videos and write them to the external storage of a device.
The attack begins by installing hidden malware within an application and then monitoring incoming files for Telegram or WhatsApp.
- Facebook could spy on WhatsApp chats
In a blog post, WhatsApp hinted that because it uses end-to-end encryption, Facebook can’t read WhatsApp content:
“When you and the people you send messages to are Using the latest version of WhatsApp, your messages are encrypted by default, which means that you are the only person who can read them. Even if we coordinate more with Facebook in the coming months, your encrypted messages remain private and cannot be read by anyone else. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, not anyone else. “
However, a developer named Gregorio Zanon disagreed with WhatsApp and said that not all messages are private and that in an operating system such as iOS 8 and above, applications can access files in a “shared container.”
Both the Facebook and WhatsApp applications perform the same shared container on the devices. While chats are encrypted when sent, they are not necessarily encrypted on the source device. This means that the Facebook application could potentially copy information from the WhatsApp application.
- Paid third-party application sthird-party applications
Legal has increased in the market and is being used to hack into secure systems and large companies could do so to work hand in hand with oppressive regimes to attack activists and journalists; or by cybercriminals trying to obtain your personal information.
Apps like pumpic and SPY24 can easily hack your WhatsApp account by stealing your private data. A user only needs to buy the application, install it and activate it on the target phone.
- Fake WhatsApp Clonesclones
A fake website can be used to install malware and these cloning sites are known as malicious websites.
This has also been adopted to break into Android systems. To hack your WhatsApp account, an attacker will first try to install a WhatsApp clone, which could look surprisingly similar to the original app. The classic case is the WhatsApp Pink scam.
- WhatsApp Web
WhatsApp Web can also be hampered by hacking the computer that WhatsApp is logged into
WhatsApp Spyware Hack: What’s Up? If you update the application, you are at risk, and all you need to know
WhatsApp is possibly one of the most popular social messaging applications in the world. As of late, the Facebook-owned social messaging app has come under fire due to the rampant dissemination of misinformation on its platform. But the app has never been plagued by malware. That is until now.
WhatsApp has detected a zero-day vulnerability on its platform that could leave billions of WhatsApp users around the world exposed to spyware that hacks users ‘smartphones to extract details such as users’ messages, logs calls, emails, photos, etc. About this spyware is that it can slip onto the smartphone of any WhatsApp user without giving the slightest clue that their devices have been infected. All you need is a WhatsApp call.
In case you are wondering whether or not ignoring the call would save you from the impact of this malicious software, we have bad news for you: there is no escape from this spyware. And the only way you can protect the data on your smartphone is by updating WhatsApp on your smartphone to the latest version, the one that includes a patch for this security loophole.
All this talk about spyware and zero-day vulnerabilities may have left you confused about the problem and ways to mitigate it. So, here is an easy guide that will help you understand and answer all your questions about the WhatsApp spyware attack:
What is a WhatsApp spyware attack?
WhatsApp, earlier this week, detected a bug on its platform that allowed malicious actors to hack into users’ smartphones and steal all of their data, including their call logs, messages, photos, contacts, emails, location. and other details. This error could be installed on a smartphone, both Android and iPhone smartphones when making a WhatsApp call on their smartphones.
Even if a user did not get the WhatsApp call, the spyware would install on their smartphone and give hackers unlimited access to their data. What is more alarming is that once installed, the spyware erases all call logs within WhatsApp, giving users no means to confirm an attack.
Who is responsible for the WhatsApp spyware attack?
A Financial Times report noted that Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO used Pegasus, a company-developed program that can turn on a phone’s camera and microphone to navigate through the phone’s data, which could be behind the attack. . The company had reportedly been targeting a UK-based lawyer who helped a group of Mexican journalists, critics of the government and a dissident man from Saudi Arabia living in Canada to sue NSO.
“It is disturbing but not surprising. Someone has to be quite desperate to target a lawyer and use the technology that is the very subject of the lawsuit,” the UK-based lawyer told The Guardian.
NSO, on the other hand, has refuted all of those claims by saying that it cannot use its technology to target an individual or organization. “NSO could not or could not use its technology in its own right to target any person or organization, including this individual,” the cyber intelligence firm told the publication.
What is WhatsApp doing to alleviate this situation?
WhatsApp is investigating the matter. In the meantime, it has released an update to protect its servers. The social messaging app has also implemented a security patch to protect smartphones from vulnerability.
In addition to this, the company has alerted the United States Department of Justice on the matter.
How can I protect my phone from attack?
To protect yourself from the attack, all you need to do is go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and update the application on your smartphones. In case you are concerned, the error does not leave your WhatsApp call open to interception. And once you’ve updated the app, all your data will be safe.
Who is all vulnerable to attack?
All WhatsApp users using the company’s Android, iOS, and Windows app, worldwide, including India, are vulnerable to this security loophole. WhatsApp issued a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) advisory to inform cybersecurity experts about the attack. According to the CVE notice issued by the Facebook-owned company, all WhatsApp users using: WhatsApp for Android v2.19.134 or less, WhatsApp Business for Android v2.19.44 or less, WhatsApp for iOS v2.19.51 or less, WhatsApp Business for iOS v2.19.51 or less, WhatsApp for Windows Phone v2.18.348 or less, and WhatsApp for Tizen v2.18.15 or less are susceptible to attack.