Hindustantimes wants to start sending you push notifications. Click allow to subscribe

Mobile numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users put on sale: Report

Published on Nov 26, 2022 03:45 PM IST

A threat actor posted an advertisement on a well-known hacking community forum, claiming they were selling a 2022 database of 487 million WhatsApp user mobile numbers, Cybernews reported.

The database contained mobile numbers of WhatsApp users from 84 different countries. (Reuters)
Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar

In what is being considered one of the biggest data breaches, mobile numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users have been put on sale online, a report by Cybernews claimed.

A threat actor posted an advertisement on a well-known hacking community forum, claiming they were selling a 2022 database of 487 million WhatsApp user mobile numbers, Cybernews reported.

The database contained mobile numbers of WhatsApp users from 84 different countries, including Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, France and Saudi Arabia, the report added.

The threat actor claimed that the data set has over 32 million US user records, 35 million Italian records, over 11 million UK records and nearly 10 million Russian user records.

The actor told Cybernews that the dataset for the United States was being sold at $7,000 and the UK at $2,500.

The information is mostly used by attackers for smishing and vishing attacks, the report added and advised WhatsApp users to be wary of calls and messages from unknown numbers.

The report also said the information on WhatsApp users “could be obtained by harvesting information at scale, also known as scraping”, which violates the terms of service of the messaging platform.

It further points out that the seller's claim is purely speculative. “However, quite often, massive data dumps posted online turn out to be obtained by scraping,” the report said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
OPEN APP