Should You Delete WhatsApp After the ‘Targeted’ Cyber-Attack?

WhatsApp cyber attack
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by Jessica Tabinor on

     INDUSTRY NEWS | 3 MIN READ

  • WhatsApp discovers 'targeted' cyber attack.

  • Following the attack, users are being urged to update the app.

  • Sam Menelaou, Executive Manager at Morson provides an insight into the importance of cyber security.



It has been revealed that the popular WhatsApp messaging app, which is owned by Facebook, has fallen victim to a targeted cyber-attack. The attack is thought to have targeted a select number of users and was orchestrated by "an advanced cyber actor”, reportedly Israeli security firm NSO Group.

The hackers were able to remotely install surveillance software onto users’ mobile devices despite WhatsApp promoting itself as a secure communications app that has end-to-end encryption. The security was flawed due to the hackers being able to use the voice calling function to ring a targeted users’ device and place the surveillance software. The software would still be installed even if the call was not answered and engineers have stated that the people who were targeted may have had one or two missed calls from a number they did not know.

A spokesperson from WhatsApp said:

“The attack has all the hallmarks of a private company reportedly that works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems.”

The BBC reported that Prof Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey described the attack as a “pretty old-fashioned” method:

"In a buffer overflow, an app is allocated more memory than it actually needs, so it has space left in the memory. If you are able to pass some code through the app, you can run your own code in that area.”

"In VOIP there is an initial process that dials up and establishes the call, and the flaw was in that bit. Consequently, you did not need to answer the call for the attack to work."


Who has been targeted?

An official statement from WhatsApp revealed that it’s too early to determine how many people have been affected by the attack. However, it is believed that the hackers targeted specific users.

It is believed that a human rights organisation and a UK based lawyer may have been targeted in the attack.

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So, what does this mean for you?

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you need to delete the app!

The breach was discovered in early May and on Monday, WhatsApp advised its 1.5 billion users to update their app to the latest version as an added precaution. Updating the app ensures that any surveillance software that may be on your device is deleted and you are clear to continue using your phone as normal.


Morson recruits for roles in cyber security…

We understand that cyber security is seen as a top priority for modern businesses, data breaches and other cyber-attacks become increasingly common. Businesses need to ensure they have the right staff and skills in-house to protect themselves and their data, which has led to a steady increase in the demand for cyber security professionals.

Morson has a wealth of experience in the IT sector and has been involved in recruiting professionals for cyber security jobs for many years. Our IT and Cyber Security divisions have grown drastically over the last few years both organically and through acquisitions including The Bridge-IT and Anderselite, with each member of our team providing new expertise and skills.

Commenting on the WhatsApp data breach, Sam Menelaou, Executive Manager at Morson International said:

“WhatsApp plays a pivotal part in everyone’s day to day life being one of the most used apps and form of communication via smartphones, which is why Facebook paid $19 billion to purchase WhatsApp back in 2014. Hearing about cyber attacks such as this makes you realise the importance of cyber security. We work with clients who have been subject to large cyber attacks themselves, and also help clients prepare and put the correct security in place for potential attacks. Cyber security is now an essential part of many companies, if not everyone.”

Through the years we’ve spent supplying cyber security personnel, we’ve built strong working relationships with a variety of high-profile clients in the sector. We recruit for a variety of different roles, for both permanent and contract personnel, as well as those looking for more niche roles.


If you would like to find out more about how our IT & Cyber Security recruitment division can help you, please email Sam Menelaou at sam.menelaou@morson.com to find out more.


Cx Jobs

Forecasting Data Analyst

Forecasting Data Analyst Remote/Flexi-working, Central London based - £35,000Are you a recent graduate with experience in Data Analysis or come from a statistical/mathematical background? Want to work for a growing company with a strong ethos and sustainable purpose?A London-based company are growing their Data team looking for a Forecasting Analyst to join them. This is a business that truly invests in their employees, where you will have extensive training available to develop your Data skills and work your way up in the collaborative Data team.This role offers excellent training and development opportunities. You will be working with, and developing your skills in some of the most in-demand technologies available, including Python, R and SQL. What are the key responsibilities?Performing operational forecasting, communicating to suppliers and ad hoc modellingMaintenance of in-house models (written in Python, R, SQL)Assist with reporting and interpretation of performance metricsWorking closely with wider Data team, assisting with data analytics or data insight workSkills Required:A degree in a numerate subject or experience in a role where Data Analysis knowledge is essentialStrong ability with Excel and ability to communicate data in meaningful wayExperience in modelling / forecasting or analysisStrong attention to detail and ability to work with complex technical conceptsAbility to provide insight into data and statistical analysisSome familiarity with either Python / PowerBI / SQL or R. This role will be remote working to begin with - and will remain flexible / part-remote post-lockdown. If you come from a strong statistical/data analysis background and want to develop your skills in an supportive environment, then please apply directly for more information.

Electrician

Vital are engaged with a Main-Contracting Client who have exciting new projects starting in 2021!We will be delighted to hear from Electricians for a variety of works including Commercial, Fit out and General Building Services. Please forward your CV and ECS along with any other certs for consideration or text Susie on 07703613159 and we will follow-up with you.

Electrician

Vital are engaged with a Main-Contracting Client who have exciting new projects starting in 2021!We will be delighted to hear from Electricians for a variety of works including Commercial, Fit out and General Building Services. Please forward your CV and ECS along with any other certs for consideration or text Susie on 07703613159 and we will follow-up with you.

Procurement Manager - Raw Materials and Packaging

Title: Procurement Manager - Raw Materials and Packaging Location: Northwich Salary: £45-50k Job overview The Category Manager for Raw Material and Packaging is responsible to the Head of Procurement for delivering the category strategy for Raw Materials and packaging. The Category Manager works closely with the respective Heads of Operations to ensure that suitable contracts are in place to meet operational demand. By working collaboratively with the sites, the operational requirements will be delivered and the opportunities for improved ways of working identified.Key responsibilities Developing a category strategy for raw materials and packaging. Identifying stakeholders and implementing stakeholder management plans to assist in developing the category strategies and operational performance.In developing category strategies identify cost optimisation opportunities and contribute to the broader corporate cost optimisation agenda.Report on Procurement performance against agreed service levels.In conjunction with business leads, as identified in the category strategy, undertake contract management of the suppliers within the category.Implementing Procurement processes and procedures - managing the inputs and responses to the procurement requests from site.Working with the Procurement team to deliver a matrix solution to deliver demand fulfilment. Working collaboratively with Procurement colleagues will help facilitate operational effectiveness.Work with Strategic Procurement to refine Procurement processes and ways of working, including the development of Procurement performance metrics and reporting.Become the P2P subject matter expert for all raw materials and packaging requests and orders; provide guidance and assistance to the business requisitioning community. Liaise and support Operational Procurement in the development and improvement of Procurement systems including P2P.In conjunction with Head of Procurement develop post-contract award contract management and supplier engagement and review. Candidate experience MCIPS or equivalentBachelor's degree in Procurement/ Business/ Finance3+ years in Procurement / Supply chain roles.Manufacturing background or background with mix of direct and indirect spend.Experience of electronic tendering and contract management.Experience of Procurement transformation. For further information please contact Jack Dawkins on / 07966-.531-.875

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