WhatsApp data leak puts 487m records for sale

Published November 27th, 2022 - 08:27 GMT
(Shutterstock/ file photo)

ALBAWABA - Personal information of users of the Meta-owner instant messaging platform WhatsApp was allegedly breached and is up for sale.

Cybernews reported that hackers posted an advertisement on the hacking community forum on Nov. 16, claiming they were selling a 2022 database of 487 million WhatsApp users' mobile numbers.

The development suggested that nearly one-fourth of WhatsApp's estimated 2 billion active monthly users are at possible risk. It also raised questions on the security of messaging sites, and underscored a serious infringement on the privacy of the users.

The dataset allegedly contained WhatsApp user data from 84 countries, according to a Cybernews report.

The report claimed that there are more than 32 million mobile numbers of users in the United States, 45 million contacts from Egypt, 35 million from Italy, 29 million from Saudi Arabia, 20 million from France, 20 million from Turkey, 8 million from India and 3.1 million from Jordan.

The dataset for sale also allegedly has nearly 10 million Russian, and more than 11 million United Kingdom citizens' phone numbers.

Hackers told Cybernews they were selling the US dataset for $7,000, the UK for $2,500, and Germany for $2,000, according to a report in Business Today.

"Such information is mostly used by attackers for smishing and vishing attacks, so we recommend users to remain wary of any calls from unknown numbers, unsolicited calls and messages," Cybernews reported.

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