Data, Phone Numbers Of 500 Million WhatsApp Users Leaked, Up For Sale Online: Report

The leaked dataset also contains the phone numbers of several WhatsApp users in India. (Representative)

New Delhi:

In one of the biggest data breaches on record, the phone numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users have been leaked and are up for sale. The database, for sale on a popular hacking forum, contains the private information of WhatsApp users from 84 countries, according to a Cybernews report.

WhatsApp denied the allegations. “The claim written on Cybernews is based on unsubstantiated screenshots. There is no evidence of a WhatsApp ‘data leak’,” a spokesperson said.

The person who put the data up for sale claims that there are 32 million user records from the United States overall. It also has millions of users in Egypt, Italy, France, UK, Russia and India.

According to the report, the US dataset is available for $7,000, while the UK one will cost $2,500.

Cybernews said that when they contacted the seller, they shared 1,097 UK-based numbers as proof. The publication investigated the numbers and confirmed they were all from WhatsApp accounts.

However, the hacker did not specify how he obtained the data.

This information is often used for cyber crimes like smishing and vishing, both of which involve texting the user and asking them to click on a link. The user is then asked to provide his credit card or other personal data.

This isn’t the first time a Meta-owned platform has been hit by a data breach. Last year, the personal data of more than 500 million Facebook users, including 6 million records from India, was allegedly leaked. The leaked data then included phone numbers and other details.

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