What Travelers Need to Know About the WhatsApp Breach

May 14, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On Monday, WhatsApp — a messaging app owned by Facebook and used by many travelers to communicate internationally — announced a cybersecurity breach that left many of its smartphone users vulnerable to malicious spyware.

CNN reported that the encrypted messaging app has since fixed the vulnerability, preventing any hackers from further exploiting the system. Hackers allegedly breach users’ smartphones by implanting spyware through placing a phone call to them on WhatsApp. The malicious code could be transmitted despite if the app user accepted the call or not.

No official perpetrator has been named yet, but investigators found that one of the targeted victims of the hacking scheme was a British human rights lawyer. The Financial Times reported that the spyware was developed by an Israeli cyber surveillance company called NSO Group — but they have since refuted the claims.

The situation is currently under investigation, but Whatsapp is urging its users to update the app as soon as possible out of an “abundance of caution.” The app can be updated on the iPhone by visiting the App Store and selecting updates — WhatsApp should be listed there. Android users are advised to open the Play Store and tap on the three lines in the top left corner, select “My apps & games” from the menu and then update WhatsApp from there.

Featured image by Chesnot/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.