Users of WhatsApp have been urged to update their apps after the messaging service has suffered a “targeted” surveillance attack on its messaging service.

The app, which is owned by Facebook and used by 1.5bn people worldwide, said the attack targeted a “select number” of users, and was carried out by “an advanced cyber actor”. It is an embarrassing development for the service’s owner, which has faced mounting criticism over privacy concerns.

According to reports, the attack was carried out by Israeli security firm NSO Group. Attackers were able to install surveillance software on to both iPhones and Android phones by ringing up targets using the app’s phone call function.


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