Facebook has filed a court case against the NSO Group, blaming the Israeli cybersurveillance company of employing WhatsApp to distribute virus to 1,400 handsets in 20 nations through May from April this year. While the tech behemoth did not claim who it thinks NSO’s customer was, the attacks aimed on handsets situated in Bahrain, Mexico, and the UAE. WhatsApp did disclose, on the other hand, that the victims comprised some prominent female leaders, 100 journalists, political dissidents, and human rights activists.
In an interview to the media, the NSO Group has denied strongly that it had a role in the assaults. It also stated that its surveillance tech dubbed Pegasus, which it trades to governments all over the globe, is being employed to save lives:
The WhatsApp hackers added Pegasus into phones of victims by calling them—the victims did not even have to receive the phone to be impacted. The lawsuit by Facebook claims that while the virus is not capable of breaking the encryption of WhatsApp, it can access the texts after they have been decoded on the device of the receiver.
The NSO Group earlier verified that Pegasus was employed to target the handset of a British lawyer, who summoned Citizen Lab and started the probe that resulted in this case. That lawyer had shown plaintiffs who blamed NSO of offering the tools to breach the handsets of a dissident in Saudi Arabia, including Mexican journalists, amongst others.
On a related note, previously this year, WhatsApp included an extra covering of privacy for iOS consumers when it turned on support for Face ID and Touch ID. Last week, it declared Fingerprint Lock for Android. Now, users can open the app on Android using their fingerprint, as well. You will have to turn on the feature in settings and verify your fingerprint prior to using it.