Technology: Human rights lawyer at the center of the WhatsApp security breach calls hack 'ironic' - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

TechnologyHuman rights lawyer at the center of the WhatsApp security breach calls hack 'ironic'

10:35  15 may  2019
10:35  15 may  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

'But his WhatsApp': Clinton, Ocasio-Cortez poked fun at reports that Kushner allegedly used WhatsApp for White House business

'But his WhatsApp': Clinton, Ocasio-Cortez poked fun at reports that Kushner allegedly used WhatsApp for White House business Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a joking Twitter exchange.

WhatsApp alerted human - rights organizations about the threat and learned from Citizen Lab that the vulnerability had been used to target the lawyer . The company said it would not be involved in identifying a target for its technology, including the lawyer at the center of the latest accusations.

WhatsApp said on Tuesday a security breach on its messaging app had signs of coming from a government using surveillance technology developed by a private company and may have targeted WhatsApp , one of the most popular messaging tools in the world, is used by 1.5 billion people monthly.

Human rights lawyer at the center of the WhatsApp security breach calls hack 'ironic'© Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images, FILE The WhatsApp messenging application is seen on a smartphone, Dec. 4, 2017.

The human rights lawyer at the center of the WhatsApp security breach said it "doesn’t come as a surprise" that the same spyware whose use he is suing against was allegedly used on him.

Facebook, which owns the messaging app used by 1.5 billion users, admitted a vulnerability late Monday, after it was initially reported by the Financial Times. The breach, which exploited a vulnerability in WhatsApp that would allow a hacker to access all of the contents of a user's phone including messages, photos and its operating system, comes at a vulnerable time for the parent company.

This tool tells you what to do about the latest data breach

This tool tells you what to do about the latest data breach Breach Clarity analyzes the threat and points you to advice.

A security flaw in WhatsApp can be, and has been, exploited to inject spyware into victims' “We have briefed a number of human rights organisations to share the information we can, and to work It is not yet clear how many people were targeted and spied on in total, though the WhatsApp team is

Israeli hacking outfit NSO Group, a developer of malware typically used by governments WhatsApp owner Facebook said it detected the hack and pushed out a fix to the app stores last night. Unless you’re a nuclear scientist or a government spy — or in this case a human rights lawyer — you’re

WhatsApp, which boasts end-to-end encryption, is the crown jewel of privacy and security in the Facebook ecosystem, which is working to combine all of its messaging apps under the banner of a company that prioritizes privacy amid several scandals.

The victim of the attempted hack is a London-based human rights lawyer, who spoke on the condition that his name not be revealed for security reasons. He told ABC News he recently noticed suspicious activity on this mobile phone.

“Several weeks ago I started receiving WhatsApp video calls early in the morning," the lawyer told ABC News. "These would ring for a few seconds and then that’s it. Missed calls. I was suspicious of these calls."

The calls originated in Sweden.

He then contacted Citizen Lab, a research center at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, which has previously investigated the use of spyware created by the Israel-based NSO Group, which has been accused of supplying tools for regimes hack the phones of dissidents, human-rights activists and journalists.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out Jared Kushner's alleged use of WhatsApp for government business

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out Jared Kushner's alleged use of WhatsApp for government business Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., appeared to call out Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, over claims he used the messaging service WhatsApp during a House hearing on Tuesday. The committee met to discuss White House security clearances when the freshman congresswoman brought up media reports alleging that Kushner used WhatsApp to conduct government business outside official channels. House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

WhatsApp says it is working alongside human rights organisations and US law enforcement agents after the vulnerability came to light this morning. The code could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones and a log of the call often disappeared, according to reports.

WhatsApp on Tuesday said a security breach on its messaging app had signs of coming from a government using surveillance technology developed by a private company and may have targeted human rights groups.

The lawyer is on the team representing several of these activists and journalists who are suing NSO, claiming the company's tracking software, Pegasus, was used to infiltrate the devices of dissidents including Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi in Canada who claims his WhatsApp messages with his friend, the murdered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, were accessed by hackers using Pegasus.

"NSO operates according to the law and adheres to a clear ethical policy that is meant to prevent misuse of its technology," NSO told ABC News in a statement. "NSO only licenses its technology to approved government intelligence and law enforcement agencies for the sole purpose of preventing and fighting crime and terror, according to clear definitions."

"In an age when terrorists and criminals hide behind sophisticated technologies, our products have helped stop human traffickers and crime and terror organizations and save the lives of thousands of people around the world," the statement continued.

WhatsApp Business app for iOS begins worldwide rollout

WhatsApp Business app for iOS begins worldwide rollout Announcement follows limited launch last month

On Sunday, the lawyer received two calls that John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab believes were part of the WhatsApp had reached out to Citizen Lab and a number of other groups that work with human rights defenders before publicly acknowledging the

On Sunday, a UK-based human rights lawyer ’s phone was targeted using this method. The lawyer has helped Mexican journalists, government This means that a code vulnerability allowed others to listen in on the voice calls of users who had been infected. WhatsApp has also alerted US law

“Omar Abdulaziz's suit makes a number of false claims about our technology, which is designed to prevent and investigate terror and crime," the company previously said about Abdulaziz.

Citizen Lab started an investigation.

"As part of this investigation they contacted WhatsApp and reached a conclusion that its vulnerability in the app was being exploited by Pegasus,” the lawyer said. “The last of these calls I received on Sunday, an attempt to hack the phone. Most likely it did not succeed.”

"It’s all upsetting, but also the same time, it doesn’t come as a surprise especially the case that we’re working on -- hacking attacks by using the same technology, against lawyers or journalists or political activists, so this attempt is consistent with these other attempts in which this technology had been used," the lawyer said. "It’s very ironic."

“I’m on the same legal team that reps Omar Abdulaziz aginst NSO, and that hack [of his WhatsApp messages] was linked to the Khashoggi case. This same technology was used to spy on the communication between Omar Abdulaziz and Jamal Khashoggi,” the lawyer said.

WhatsApp Business app for iOS begins worldwide rollout

WhatsApp Business app for iOS begins worldwide rollout Announcement follows limited launch last month

WhatsApp has revealed a vulnerability in its system that could have allowed hackers access to its users' phones, with a London-based human rights lawyer NSO has denied targeting the lawyer . On Sunday, the lawyer received two calls that John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the University

NSO hacking through WhatsApp has outraged many from security analysts to human rights advocates, fuelling worldwide concerns about the safety of citizens’ private data. “The rumours unfortunately seem true. Whatsapp itself confirmed the existence of this vulnerability, and their effort

Three sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News the software used was NSO's Pegasus.

NSO issued a statement saying its technology "is licensed to authorized government agencies for the sole purpose of fighting crime and terror. The company does not operate the system, and after a rigorous licensing and vetting process, intelligence and law enforcement determine how to use the technology to support their public safety missions."

"Under no circumstances would NSO be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology, which is solely operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. NSO would not or could not use its technology in its own right to target any person or organization, including this individual," the company said.

WhatsApp did not comment on details of the breach, but said the company is sharing information with the Department of Justice to assist in an investigation.

“WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices,” a WhatsApp spokesperson wrote ABC in an emailed statement.

On Tuesday, European regulators confirmed they were looking into the breach as a violation of their year-old privacy regulations, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.

Facebook, which owns the messaging app WhatsApp, has its European headquarters in Ireland, so Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) is the lead regulator in Europe. This is at least the 12th investigation by European regulators into Facebook since the European Union's new privacy laws went into effect one year ago.

Officials from Ireland's DPC said it was told about the breach on Monday evening, and "understands that the vulnerability may have enabled a malicious actor to install unauthorised software and gain access to personal data on devices which have WhatsApp installed," in a statement released on Tuesday.

Update WhatsApp now to avoid spyware installation from a single missed call.
NSO Pegasus spyware can turn on a phone’s camera and mic and collect emails, messages, and location data

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 4
This is interesting!