According to a CyberNews article, a threat actor advertised on a hacker site that they were selling the data of 487 million WhatsApp users. The database had information from over 11 million users in the UK, over 32 million users in the US, 45 million users in Egypt, 29 million users in Saudi Arabia, and 35 million users in Italy. Millions of people’s data from Russia, India, and other nations were also compromised.
According to reports, the cybercriminal was charging $7000 (roughly Rs 5,71,000) in the US, $2,500 (roughly Rs 2,04,000) in the UK, and $2000 (roughly Rs 1,63,000) in Germany to sell the data.
The WhatsApp numbers and other information may be used by malicious parties for phishing attacks, scams, and other online crimes if they are leaked.
The report notes that the threat actor was contacted to determine whether the material was authentic, and it turned out that it was. The dataset contained actual WhatsApp phone numbers from the UK and the US, 1,097 and 817, respectively. There is no information on how the data was collected, though.
Meta (formerly Facebook), which has seen its fair number of data breaches in the past, was contacted by CyberNews. Facebook data from more than 500 million users was exposed in 2021 on a hacking forum, including more than 6 million people in India. At this time, there has been no commentary on the subject. Additionally, it is impossible to identify the users who have been impacted.
You can verify if your data has ever been compromised on CyberNews by going to this page and entering your phone number or email. The best course of action is to reset your passwords and apply additional security measures, such as 2FA, if your account has been compromised. Since there has been a significant data leak, it is best to be safe. You can do this by avoiding dubious links and WhatsApp messages. In the event that you encounter any, merely report them.