14 May 2019

whatsappWhat do you use for your messaging app? For so many people, Whatsapp is the answer. Its end-to-end encryption is a reassurance that the information you send via the app is safe and protected, right?

Yet, today’s news proved that nothing is fool-proof. Cybercriminals are evolving their techniques every single day, becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attacks.

Whatsapp, owned by Facebook, announced that ‘an advanced cyber-actor’ had targeted a ‘select number’ of the app’s users. The briefing note that Facebook sent to the press noted that the attack had ‘all the hallmarks of a private company reportedly that works with governments to deliver spyware’.

When you really think about it, WhatsApp has a huge amount of access to your phone functionality. That includes the microphone and camera, as well as messages and calls. There’s no wonder that it became a target for hackers, no matter their motivation.

Add to that that fact that it is known for being a secure method of communication. That means people are potential more likely to send sensitive material via the app, making it even more of a target.

Learning and evolving

When you consider just how much of our lives we have on Facebook, on Instagram and on WhatsApp, it’s a goldmine of data. And it’s an unenviable task trying to keep all of that data safe, particularly when it is all owned by one company!

At UKFast and Secarma it’s our focus to keep the internet as safe a place as possible not only through technology but by sharing the latest developments and by educating as many people as we can on best practice and beyond.

This latest WhatsApp incident is suspected to be targeted to a few specific individuals. However it is another reminder of how important it is to install updates as and when they are released.

WhatsApp quickly released an update resolving the issue, and it’s now up to users to install that. You can do this through your app store, or even easier, set your apps to auto-update so you don’t have to worry about them.

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