WhatsApp: A mobile phone invasion that took place in 2019 from WhatsApp, similar to the one recently denounced by Amnesty International, would also have been carried out by the NSO Group, the company that created the Pegasus spyware. Who claims is the CEO of messaging app Will Cathcart.
In an interview with The Guardian on Saturday (24), the WhatsApp leader accused the Israeli company of using the spy program against 1,400 messenger users in a recent campaign. “The report coincides with what we saw in the attack we defeated two years ago, it’s very consistent with what we said at the time,” he argued.
According to Cathcart, NSO malware was used in 2019 against “high government officials around the world”, exploiting a vulnerability in the messenger. Among the targets would be people in national security positions in countries allied with the United States, as well as journalists, activists and human rights defenders.
At the time, Facebook (owner of WhatsApp) sued the creator of Pegasus, who in turn claimed to have no responsibility for the actions of buyers of the malicious program. By infecting a cell phone, the virus grants access to messages, phone calls, gallery and location of the device, in addition to turning it into a listening device.
“For a safer world”
During the conversation, the CEO of WhatsApp praised the changes implemented by Microsoft to protect users against cyber attacks and invited Apple to do the same. In addition, he urged governments to enact laws to protect citizens from digital espionage.
Responding to the respondent’s criticisms, an NSO spokesman told the British newspaper that the company’s products work towards a “safer world”. He also questioned whether Cathcart would have alternatives for authorities to legally detect and prevent the actions of “pedophiles, terrorists and criminals using end-to-end encryption platforms.”