Is your WhatsApp hacked? Here is how to find out

The spyware can easily trawl through calls, texts and other data.


CAPE TOWN - Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp says it has been hacked and that the attackers installed spyware on a number of people's smartphones.

MyBroadband editor Jan Vermeulen explained how this happened and how it will affect the use of the app.

The spyware can easily trawl through calls, texts and other data. It can also activate the phone’s camera and microphone as well as perform other malicious activities.

He said this vulnerability was discovered by the WhatsApp team and only sent out a notification after the problem was fixed.

"The way it works is basically a missed WhatsApp call and in some instances, the call log is deleted, which means you will have no record of the spyware being installed.

"The reason why this has made headlines is because of the kind of spyware that was detected."

According to Vermeulen, the spyware is called Pegasus by Israel's NSO Group.

The NSO Group was previously linked to a nation state that was using it to spy on other people.

"There is much controversy around this because NSO Group is alleged to have sold this spyware to a nation-state which they are not allowed to be selling to and in turn, they are using it in places they are not allowed to be using, particularly the US."

Here is how you can find out whether your device has been hacked:

  • Check if your battery life hasn't suddenly dropped;

  • See if your data usage has suddenly spiked;

  • Be careful what you click on;

  • Install Lookout Security App; and

  • Update your version of WhatsApp immediately.

Listen to the audio below for more.