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Thursday, February 2, 2023

WhatsApp data breach: 500 mn users’ phone numbers from 84 countries, including India, up for sale

This database of WhatsApp users contains data from 84 countries, including India, suggesting that almost one-fourth of all WhatsApp’s estimated two billion active monthly users are at risk.

Users’ personal information, such as their phone numbers, was allegedly breached and is for sale on a well-known hacker forum owned by Meta-owned WhatsApp.

On November 16, some people posted an advertisement on the hacking community forum offering a 2022 database with the mobile numbers of around 487 million WhatsApp users. It is likely that the report is accurate, as multiple sources have confirmed it.

This database of WhatsApp users contains data from 84 countries (including India) and suggests that almost one-fourth of all WhatsApp’s estimated two billion active monthly users are at possible risk.

It is reported that there are over 6 million records of Indian WhatsApp users for sale. Apart from the Indian users, the report also claims that there are more than 32 million mobile numbers of US users, 45 million contacts from Egypt, 35 million from Italy, 29 million from Saudi Arabia, 20 million from France and nearly 20 million from Turkey.

According to the report, hackers sold US datasets for $7,500, UK datasets for $2,500, and German datasets for $2,000 each.

Users’ personal information, such as leaked phone numbers, is typically used for marketing, phishing, impersonation, and fraud.

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