situation report

May 14, 2019 | 15:52 GMT

1 min read

Israel: WhatsApp Security Gap Allowed Technology From Israeli Company to Spy on Phones

What Happened: Researchers at Citizen Lab, an internet watchdog group, believe they have identified a security gap in WhatsApp, a messaging app owned by Facebook, that allowed technology from Israel's NSO Group to retrieve sensitive data from users, AP reported May 14.

Why It Matters: The identification of the security gap and the NSO Group's involvement may result in heavier scrutiny on Israeli technology exports over concerns that other states may employ it in cyberwarfare campaigns.

Background: NSO espionage technology has already been implicated in numerous spying activities on human rights activists, journalists and nongovernmental organizations. The company has emphasized that its tools are designed to fight crime and terrorism.

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