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What you need to know about the WhatsApp attack

Following a huge attack on one of the most popular messaging services, users are being advised to react.

News of the WhatsApp attack echoed around the world when it broke on Tuesday May 14.

It is understood that hackers found a “major vulnerability” on the messaging app. They were then able to remotely install surveillance software. This was done on phones and other devices.

WhatsApp has reportedly confirmed that “a select number” of users were targeted. The company, owned by Facebook, is also understood to believe the attack was conducted by “an advanced cyber-actor”.

Moreover, the Financial Times, along with others, is reporting that NSO Group, an Israeli firm, developed the surveillance software involved. It is thought that Journalists, lawyers, activists and human rights defenders were the most likely to be targeted.

According to the BBC a solution was rolled out on Friday May 10 . The following Monday all of WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion users were urged to update their apps.

This was largely thought to just be a precaution. Nevertheless, in this article we will explain just how you can make sure you have the right version and achieve complete peace of mind.

After all, WhatsApp is one of the leading messaging apps for a reason. We, like most media outlets, believe that there is absolutely no reason to ditch it now.

WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted. This means that the sender or receiver’s devices should be the only place messages can be displayed in a legible form.

That’s why WhatsApp prides itself as being a “secure” communications tool. But unfortunately, as we have just seen, no app is safe from hackers in this day and age.

How can Android and iOS users update app after WhatsApp attack?

Don’t worry, this is really simple to do. 

iOS

  • Launch your App Store.
  • Go to Updates (at the bottom of the screen).
  • If recently updated it will appear with a button that says ‘Open’.
  • If it hasn’t been updated, the button will say Update – hit that!

Android

  • Go to your Play store.
  • Tap the menu (at the top left of the screen).
  • Then go to My Apps & Games.
  • Same as iOS, if it has updated it will say Open.
  • If it hasn’t, hit the button that says Update to run the install.

Final Thoughts

Don’t expect this to be the last WhatsApp attack article that we post. This story is still rumbling on and has posed so many questions for cybersecurity experts.

For further advice on keeping your devices secure, take a look at our packed library of products, reviews and advice features.

The Ultimate Antivirus Guide is a particular lifesaver if you’re not 100% clued up on cybersecurity.

To stay tuned with the other big stories rocking the tech world keep following the FileHippo News Blog.

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