WhatsApp accuses Israeli security firm NSO of spying on journalists and activists

WhatsApp accuses Israeli security firm NSO of spying on journalists and activists

An investigation led by Facebook and the University of Toronto on the attack suffered by the chat in May revealed that the spyware of the Israeli firm NSO spied about 100 activists and journalists

Last May the service of
instant messenger
 was the victim of a computer attack that took advantage of a
Vulnerability in your video calling system. This caused that 1.5 billion users had to update the application to correct this serious failure of

At the time, suspicions fell
about an Israeli firm NSO Group, known for being the creator of Pegasus, a Spanish software used by various government agencies worldwide. At the time NSO denied the accusations, but after six months of investigations
Facebook denounced NSO for him
espionage of at least
100 activists, journalists and civilians.

"The cyberattack exploited a vulnerability in video calls. This failure allows spyware to be installed on the victim's phone, even when the call is not answered," said Will Cathcart, director of WhatsApp. "It was a very sophisticated and specific attack, but it did not cover all of its traces and we identified that the attack was aimed at 100 human rights activists, journalists and civilians, as detailed in our lawsuit," added the Facebook executive, owner of whatsApp, in an opinion column published in
The Washington Post

In response to the accusations, NSO said Pegasus is only used by security forces and intelligence agencies for crime and terrorism prevention. Once installed on the smartphone, the controversial software allows you to read all the messages stored on the phone, view incoming and outgoing calls, in addition to activating the camera and microphones to record conversations.

After the attack, for six months WhatsApp and researchers from the University of Toronto identified that about 1400 phones were hit by the attack during the two weeks during the vulnerability of video calls in May, and that a significant portion of those affected were civilians, according to a report published by
Financial Times