International social sharing platform, Whatsapp, has asked all its users to upgrade to the latest version following a spy virus attack.
According to a report by an international media outlet, Financial Times, the spyware was planted on users phones and allowed them to ring up targets using the call function.
It was also established that the spyware was linked to an Israeli firm identified as the NSO Group.
“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 to compromise information stored on mobile devices.
“We are constantly working alongside industry partners to provide the latest security enhancements to help protect our users,” stated a spokesperson.
In its defence, however, NSO Group argued that it developed the system and that it licensed the product to various legitimate governments agencies.
The firm further explained that after offering the license, it no longer operated the system and that the agencies used it “for the sole purpose of fighting crime and terror.”
“We investigate any credible allegations of misuse and if necessary, we take action, including shutting down the system. Under no circumstances would NSO be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology, which is solely operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
“NSO would not or could not use its technology in its own right to target any person or organization, including this individual,” the company explained.
The spyware is injected in phones through missed calls where a person “might get one or two calls from a number that is not familiar to them. In the process of calling, this code gets shipped.”