Why You Need To Update WhatsApp Now! (And Update Other Software)
Update 09/09/2019 – the most recent version of WhatsApp is 2.19.244 for Android and 2.19.90 for Apple devices.
Update 01/07/2019 – the most recent version of WhatsApp is 2.19.175 for Android and 2.19.61 for Apple devices.
If you are one of the 1.5 billion people using WhatsApp you must install the latest update right now.
Why What Has Happened?
A vulnerability was found it WhatsApp that allows hackers to install spyware on your phone by simply calling it. This spyware would allow access to all files on the phone, including access to the camera and microphone.
What Phones Does It Affect?
This affects all versions of WhatsApp, including iOS, Windows Phone, Android Phones etc.
Who Is Behind The Attacks?
It’s currently unknown, but it is believed to be a highly sophisticated attack only possible by state-sponsored/ government-backed hackers.
Has It Affected Me?
It is not known who has been spied on by accident or on purpose. The attacks seem to happen when an unknown number rings the phone then hangs up, however, this attack probably hasn’t attacked anyone outside of government/security roles.
How Do I Protect Myself?
Even though you may not have been attacked, your device is still vulnerable and other people could use this method to attack you.
The best course of action is to see if you are running the latest version of WhatsApp on your device. At the time of writing this article, the latest version of WhatsApp on Android is 2.19.134. If you’re using an iPhone, the latest version of WhatsApp for iOS is 2.19.51. To check your version open up WhatsApp, Android devices – tap the three dots in the top right corner, tap settings, tap help then tap App info. Apple devices – tap on the Settings icon at the bottom of the screen, then tap on Help. Your version of WhatsApp will now be displayed on the screen. If your version number is higher than those we’ve listed above then you’re all up to date and you have nothing to worry about.
While you’re doing that, if there are any other apps that need updating, best to do that now.
How To Update Using Google Play Store (For Android Users)
Open the Google Play Store app.
1. Tap Menu icon (the three lines in the top left corner) and then My apps & games.
2. Apps with an update available are labelled “Update.”
3. Tap Update All to update all apps. For individual apps, find the specific app you want to update and tap Update.
How To Update Using App Store (For Apple users)
1. Open the App Store. If prompted, enter your Apple ID and password and tap Sign in.
2. Tap Updates at the bottom of the screen.
3. Tap Update All. This is in the upper right corner.
4. You can also tap the Update next to each app if you’d like to only update certain ones.
5. Apps in the process of updating will have their icons greyed out on the home screen until they are finished. You can pause each update via the home screen or stop the update via the Updates tab in the app store.
Why You Should Always Keep Software Up to Date.
This is a prime example of why you should always update your software to the latest version ASAP. If you don’t, you leave yourself vulnerable to all kinds of horrible attacks. You should always keep every piece of software up to date no matter the device. This is also a good point to mention that Microsoft is dropping support for Windows 7 very soon. This means you will be vulnerable to attacks like this and Microsoft have no obligation to fix it as that software is no longer supported, you can read more about that here
Thanks for reading and I hope you have all updated your devices.