WhatsApp mobile number database of around 487 million users has reportedly been put up for sale on a hacking community forum. These numbers are said to belong to WhatsApp users from 84 countries, from a recent database. The hacker is said to have used a technique called scraping to collect the personal information of these WhatsApp users. Meanwhile, the data from a previous Twitter data breach has been posted online. The leak is said to include personal information of users including their like Twitter handle, account name, username, location, phone numbers, and email addresses.
According to a report by Cybernews, a user has posted an ad on a popular hacking forum for the sale of the mobile numbers of about 487 million WhatsApp users. The hacker claims to have gotten their hands on a database of over 32 million numbers of American users which has been priced at $7,000 (roughly Rs. 5,70,000), as per the report.
Similarly, numbers belonging to around 45 million users in Egypt and around 35 million users in Italy are also reportedly on sale. The publication claims that it was able to obtain and verify 1097 UK and 817 US numbers from the hacker. The person may have used a technique called scraping, to collect public information, to obtain these numbers. These leaked phone numbers could inevitably be used for marketing purposes, phishing, impersonation, and fraud, the report points out.
“The claim written on Cybernews is based on unsubstantiated screenshots. There is no evidence of a ‘data leak’ from WhatsApp,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told Gadgets 360.
According to a report by BleepingComputer, Twitter may have potentially experienced an even larger data breach, which could have affected a larger number of users. This new data breach could contain the information of tens of millions of Twitter users, including their personal phone numbers, as per the report. It might have occurred due to the same API bug that led to the previous leak. This information was reportedly revealed by security analyst Chad Loder on Twitter. However, the researcher’s account was suspended, which seemingly forced Loder to upload redacted details on Mastodon.
BleepingComputer says it was able to obtain the data dump of 1,377,132 France mobile numbers included in the purported Twitter data breach. Notably, these numbers were not included in the previously sold data of 5.4 million Twitter users. The new data breach is said to include several files divided by country and area codes, including Europe, the USA, and Israel. It might overall consist of over 17 million leaked records.