Sources familiar with WhatsApp’s internal investigation into the breach said a “significant” portion of the known victims are high-profile government and military officials spread across at least 20 countries on five continents.
The hacking of a wider group of top government officials’ smartphones than previously reported suggests the WhatsApp cyber intrusion could have broad political and diplomatic consequences.
WhatsApp filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Israeli hacking tool developer NSO Group. The Facebook-owned software giant alleges that NSO Group built and sold a hacking platform that exploited a flaw in WhatsApp-owned servers to help clients hack into the cellphones of at least 1,400 users.
While it is not clear who used the software to hack officials’ phones, NSO says it sells its spyware exclusively to government customers.
Even allies eavesdrop on each other all the time. But you’re supposed to be extra-careful to not get caught at it, or put at risk a good relationship. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.