HACK TO HACK
Tuesday wasn’t a great day for people who value their privacy. Two major security breaches were revealed by Intel and WhatsApp that potentially put billions of users at risk.
For Intel, a flaw in its hardware allowed for hackers to eavesdrop on just about every piece of raw data that your computer touches. And WhatsApp, which for the record is owned by Facebook, revealed a software flaw that allowed The NSO Group, an Israeli spy firm, to access phone data by installing malware with just a phone call.
Almost every computer with an Intel chip dating back as far as 2011 was at risk for an attack called ZombieLoad, which sounds a lot like some sort of Walking Dead fan-fiction porn, that targeted its processors.
Through a series of four bugs, hackers are able to exploit design flaws rather than having to go through the trouble of inputting code. In theory, hackers would be able to see which websites a person is visiting in real time. Yes, even in incognito mode. Researchers reported the flaw to Intel just last month and many hardware and software manufacturers released patches yesterday.
For WhatsApp, a more “traditional” software hack using malware is wreaking havoc. As recently as Sunday, The NSO Group was able to place a phone call, which iPhone and Android users didn’t need to answer, in order to install surveillance software on the device.
NSO sound familiar? The group is the reason your coworker puts a sticker over their laptop camera. The company’s most well-known software, Pegasus, is able to remotely access the camera and microphone of a device without alerting the user. Luckily, NSO software is usually reserved for targeting high-level activists and journalists. In other words, you’re probably not important enough to spy on.
WhatsApp was hacked and attackers installed spyware on people's phones [BI]
IN OTHER NEWS
- Disney has agreed to buy the rest of Hulu from Comcast [CNBC]
- Stocks bounced back yesterday [WSJ]
- Fidelity gives Goldman the "it's not you, it's me" [Bloomberg]
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