The kind of malware that led to the massive privacy breach on WhatsApp in at least 20 countries abuses vulnerabilities in operating systems of mobile phones, the messaging platform has said in a fresh statement, days after the snooping scandal came to light.
"Unable to break end-to-end encryption, this kind of malware abuses vulnerabilities within the underlying operating systems that power our mobile phones," a company spokesperson said in a statement. The messaging company reiterated that safety of its users remained their top priority
"Technology companies are constantly working to stay ahead of these kind of challenges through updates and patches," the statement said.
On Friday, WhatsApp had said that it had informed Indian authorities in May about the privacy breach though Israeli spyware Pegasus that affected some users in the country and worked quickly to resolve it.
The government had demanded an explanation from the company.
Government sources, however, denied the claims, saying WhatsApp only informed them about the vulnerability of their app in "technical jargon" in May and that the company made no mention of Pegasus spyware and Indian users being targeted.
In the last week of September, WhatsApp had given a second alert to Indian authorities, saying 121 Indians were targets of the Israeli spyware, as first reported by the The Indian Express and confirmed by sources to NDTV.
Last week, Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp, alleged that Israeli cybersecurity company NSO used WhatsApp servers to spread spyware Pegasus.
"The safety and security of our users remains our highest priority, which is why in May we blocked the attack and have taken action in the courts to hold NSO accountable," WhatsApp said today.
Among the 1,400 users targeted across 20 nations were 121 Indian journalists, activists, lawyers and senior government officials, who were spied on for a two-week period in April before the national elections. The Congress on Sunday claimed that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's phone was hacked through WhatsApp.