WhatsApp which is taken over by Facebook has filed a lawsuit against an Israeli firm for cyber-attacks which in return infected devices due to its malicious software.
WhatsApp has charged the Israeli firm- NSO Group for sending malware to approximately 1400 mobile phones with the purpose of surveillance.
According to reports, the users that are affected by the attack include human rights activists, journalists, diplomats and political dissidents.
On the other hand, the NSO Group which makes software for surveillance purposes has disputed the allegations. In a court filing, WhatsApp claimed the following statement, the NSO Group “developed their malware in order to access messages and other communications after they were decrypted on target devices”.
Furthermore, it also said that the NSO Group had created various other WhatsApp accounts which further resulted into the transmission of the malicious code over the WhatsApp servers in April and May.
“We believe this attack targeted at least 100 members of civil society, which is an unmistakable pattern of abuse,” added the WhatsApp source.
Reports allege, the affected users had numbers belonging to several countries which include Mexico, the Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The messaging company is thus seeking a permanent injunction which will ban NSO from further using the service.
The messaging company has endorsed itself as a “secure” communications app, owning to its end-to-end encrypted messages, which means that the messages can be displayed only in a legible form either on the sender’s or recipient’s device.
WhatsApp said it is the first time an encrypted messaging provider had taken a legal action of this sort. NSO Group said it would fight against the alleged allegations.
“In the strongest possible terms, we dispute today’s allegations and will vigorously fight them,” the company said in wake of the situation.
“The sole purpose of NSO is to provide technology to licensed government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to help them fight terrorism and serious crime.”