Threat actor are claiming they were selling a 2022 database of 487 million WhatsApp user mobile numbers.
The dataset acontains WhatsApp user data from 84 countries. Threat actor claims there are over 32 million US user records included.
A huge chunk of phone numbers belongs to the citizens of Egypt (45 million), Italy (35 million), Saudi Arabia (29 million), France (20 million), and Turkey (20 million).UK (11 million), Russia (10 million). Selling the US dataset for $7,000, the UK – $2,500, and Germany – $2,000.
These forms of information is mostly used by attackers for smishing and vishing attacks. Users to remain wary of any calls from unknown numbers, unsolicited calls and messages.
The seller of WhatsApp’s database shared a sample of data in which 1097 UK and 817 US user numbers in the shared sample. Researchers confirmed the numbers belongs to a valid WhatsApp users
The seller did not specify how they obtained the database, suggesting they “used their strategy” to collect the data.
The information on WhatsApp users could be obtained by harvesting information at scale, also known as scraping, which violates WhatsApp’s Terms of Service.
Meta itself, long criticized for letting third parties scrape or collect user data, saw over 533 million user records leaked on a dark forum. The actor was sharing the dataset practically for free. In one another instance, Facebook data leak occured, in which an archive containing data purportedly scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles had been put for sale on a popular hacker forum.
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