Spyway created by a sophisticated group of hackers-for-hire appears to have targeted the popular WhatsApp communications program.
According to The Associated Press, the advanced spyware remotely hijacked dozens of phones.
The company described the hackers as a private company that has been known to work for governments to deliver spyware.
The malware penetrated phones through missed calls via the app’s voice calling functions.
WhatsApp has more than 1.5 billion users. It’s not known exactly how many phones were infected.
The company says the flaw was discovered when they were implementing some security enhancement to their voice calls. The Associated Press says WhatsApp immediately contacted Citizen Lab and human rights groups, quickly fixed the issue and pushed out a patch.
The Financial Times has identified the hackers as Israel’s NSO Group, however the cyber company issued a statement denying responsibility.
WhatsApp is encouraging users to update to the latest version of the app “out of an abundance of caution.”