According to our colleagues at the Cybernews site, a database containing the numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users has been put up for sale on the dark web. If this vulnerability is proven, affected users will be exposed to spam and phishing attempts.
In October 2022, a survey by a London company specializing in computer security showed that Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were the apps most targeted by hackers. However, this latest news does not contradict this report, on the contrary.
According to our colleagues at the Cybernews site, a database with the figures of almost 500 million WhatsApp users was recently put up for sale on a dark web hacker forum. The seller claims that this set contains 487 million phone numbers of active users in more than 84 countries.
Knowing that WhatsApp has almost 2 billion users worldwide, this means that this database would therefore contain the numbers of a quarter of the users of the application… According to the seller’s description, this lot contains the phone numbers of more than 32 million US users , 45 million in Egypt, 35 million in Italy, 29 million in Saudi Arabia, 20 million in France and in Turkey, 10 million in Russia and over 11 million UK numbers.
Also to read : WhatsApp – old versions are threatened by a terrible security flaw, download the update quickly!
WhatsApp is not necessarily hacked
Unfortunately, the Cybernews source did not reveal that she was able to get hold of this database. However, it is possible that it was formed by a process called “Scraping”. This consists of a huge and lengthy collection of data from the web. In other words, WhatsApp would not have been hacked, but theThe pirates would have managed to collect all these numbers (via previous leaks, phishing campaigns, spam or otherwise), confirming that they were related to WhatsApp and then selling them.
As you can imagine, such a database could be used to launch large-scale phishing campaigns, not to mention waves of spam. It is impossible for now to know whether or not your phone number is on this list. We are of course waiting for a statement from WhatsApp on this subject. We will update this article as soon as we know more.
Source: Cyber News