Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp says it has been hacked and that the attackers installed spyware on a number of people's smartphones.

MyBroadband editor Jan Vermeulen explains 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 says this vulnerability was discovered by the WhatsApp team and only sent out a notification after the problem was fixed.

Read: Why you should seriously consider deleting WhatsApp from your phone

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.

Jan Vermeulen, Editor - My Broadband

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

Jan Vermeulen, Editor - My Broadband

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.

Jan Vermeulen, Editor - My Broadband

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

  • Check if your battery life hasn't suddenly dropped

  • Has your data usage suddenly spiked

  • Be careful on what you click on

  • Install Lookout Security App

  • Update your version of WhatsApp immediately

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:

This article first appeared on 702 : Is your WhatsApp hacked? Here is how to find out

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