An Israeli firm has exploited a flaw in the popular messaging mobile app WhatsApp to plant spyware on iPhones and Android. One phone call is all it takes for software developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group to install itself on a vulnerable iPhone or Android device, according to a published report in the FT Times. The publication broke the news, saying it potentially affects 1.5 billion users of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messaging application, on Monday. WhatsApp quickly issued a fix for the exploit, described in an alert on the Facebook website as “a buffer overflow vulnerability in WhatsApp VOIP stack” that allows for “remote code execution via specially crafted series of SRTCP packets sent to a target phone number.” “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 […]
Human rights organization Amnesty International reports it’s been the target of a spyware campaign traced to a secretive Israel cyber-surveillance company and distributed through the chat application WhatsApp.
China has developed a Big Brother-like system of surveillance and big-data technology to monitor and incriminate ethnic minorities by using their personal information to deem them government threats.
The online publication The Intercept has a fascinating story on the National Security Agency’s “Google-like” search engine, which was created to chew through almost a trillion records containing “metadata:” the cell phone calls, email messages, geo-location data and other online communications the agency has harvested. The story exposes a tool called ICREACH. Author Ryan Gallagher cites classified documents obtained by The Intercept that provide what he calls hard evidence that the NSA has, through ICREACH “made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies” including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Read more via The Intercept with: ICREACH: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google -The Intercept.
The news this week that search giant Google completed its acquisition of smart-home device maker NEST prompting at least one news outlet to proclaim that the “New Internet of Things Wave” has been set in motion. (Umm…new?) But there’s a cautionary note in the business headlines: news that Verizon shuttered its Verizon Home Monitoring service. Matt Hamblen over at Computerworld.com has the news and the confirmation from Verizon, which launched in 2012 and was designed to sink that company’s hooks deeper into wired homes. Verizon provided a common hardware platform for home automation and entertainment systems to plug into and talk to each other. Users could manage devices remotely from their computer, mobile device or from their televisions using FiOS TV. It comprised video surveillance, environmental control and physical security. In commercials, Verizon trumpeted it as the “ultimate 21st century green energy home control.” Verizon charged users $10 a month […]