Via SkyNews -

The malware was able to penetrate phones using the app's voice calling function, with reports blaming the Israeli-based NSO Group.

WhatsApp has pointed the finger at an Israeli firm after confirming that a sophisticated hacking group had developed a tool which could take control over victim's phones by sending them a call.

The company said the attacks carried the hallmarks of a private surveillance technology firm which reportedly works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the mobile phone operating systems.

Although the company did not name the NSO Group, its statement matched the organisation which a number of human rights organisations have accused of working with repressive regimes to target dissidents.

Dozens of WhatsApp users, including human rights organisations and a UK-based lawyer, are thought to have been targeted after hackers exploited a major vulnerability in the app.

The attackers were able to install spyware through WhatsApp's voice call function, even if the user did not pick up the call, the company confirmed.

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#Hacking, #WhatsApp, #Israel, #GDPR