WhatsApp has alerted several academics, lawyers, Dalit activists and journalists that their phones had been under state-of-the-art surveillance for a two-week period until May.
WhatsApp has confirmed that an Israeli spyware was used for snooping on several people in the country, reported The Indian Express. WhatsApp, the report said, had alerted several academics, lawyers, Dalit activists and journalists that their phones had been under state-of-the-art surveillance for a two-week period until May.
“Indian journalists and human rights activists have been the target of surveillance and while I cannot reveal their identities and the exact number, I can say that it is not an insignificant number,” a WhatsApp spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report.
The development comes after Facebook, who owns WhatsApp sued the Israeli hacker-for-hire company NSO Group on Tuesday in US federal court for allegedly targeting some 1,400 users of its encrypted messaging service WhatsApp with highly sophisticated spyware.
Facebook says NSO Group violated laws including the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act with a crafty exploit that took advantage of a flaw in the popular communications program allowing a smartphone to be penetrated through missed calls alone.
The lawsuit alleges that malicious code from NSO was sent from April 29 through May 10 over WhatsApp servers. The aim was to infect some 1,400 devices whose users included attorneys, journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, diplomats and other government officials.
(With Agency Inputs)