Hackers have been capable to set up spyware on WhatsApp by exploiting a big vulnerability in the app, the enterprise has confirmed.

The messaging service, which is owned by Facebook, stated it believes “a choose quantity of customers” have been targeted by an “sophisticated cyber actor”.

It is unclear how numerous devices have been impacted, but a WhatsApp spokesperson stated a quantity in the dozens would not be inaccurate.

The enterprise found the breach in early May well.

WhatsApp says it has given that fixed the vulnerability and is urging individuals to upgrade to the most recent version of the app.

It has not been confirmed who carried out the attack, but it was stated to have hallmarks of a private enterprise that performs with governments to provide spyware.

The technologies would permit it take more than the functions of mobile telephone operating systems.

WhatsApp has stated it is “deeply concerned” about the abuse of such capabilities, and has briefed a quantity of human rights organisations.

The vulnerability in the app permitted it to be infected with spyware with a missed in-app contact function.

The enterprise has supplied data to US law enforcement to support them conduct an investigation.

A WhatsApp spokesperson stated: “WhatsApp encourages individuals to upgrade to the most recent version of our app, as nicely as preserve their mobile operating program up to date, to safeguard against prospective targeted exploits developed to compromise data stored on mobile devices.

“We are frequently functioning alongside market partners to deliver the most recent safety enhancements to support safeguard our customers.”