The data of millions of Whatsapp users ended up on a hacker forum. Specifically, 487 million existing phone numbers from around the world are said to be for sale there. This comes from the portal’s report.Cybernews.comIn addition to phone numbers, however, no other personal data is included. The figures are said to have been available since November 16.
1.59 million Swiss numbers are also affected, as is Number One schedule Offers “Cybernews”. It is not currently possible to determine if your number is among the stolen numbers.
Overall, phone numbers from users in 84 countries reached the site. According to the table, most of them are from Egypt (44.8 million), Italy (36 million), and the United States (32 million). It is also said that 6 million mobile phone numbers from Germany and 1.25 million from Austria are for sale.
Surprisingly, according to the screenshot from the “Cybernews” website, the seller is second in the list of alphabetically sorted countries of about 14 million numbers from “Africa”. After all, Egypt and many other African countries are also on the list. It is therefore uncertain where the 14 million “African” numbers are supposed to come from. It is also remarkable that about 4.6 million numbers from Kuwait are listed, even though the country had a population of just 4.3 million in 2021. Having more than one mobile phone number per capita is common, especially in rich countries. However, it is questionable whether all Kuwaitis actually use WhatsApp.
Numbers of Whatsapp users
The authors of the platform have contacted the number provider. How exactly the unknown person got the data, the portal did not tell. But she used her “strategy,” quoted in “Cyber News.” Upon request, the hacker sent a sample of the stolen data to the journalists. The site does not specify the exact number, but between them there are more than 1,000 British and 800 American numbers. Internet News has verified all the numbers in the sample – and they are said to actually come from Whatsapp users.
It is not clear if this also applies to the rest of the list. The hackers were also able to provide a bunch of stolen legitimate numbers while the rest are fake.
The person who can most likely verify this is Whatsapp’s parent company, Meta. However, the company has not yet responded to Cybernews’ inquiry.
Cyber News believes that the criminals may have obtained the data through scraping. The script or application reads the data from the page and saves it. Whatsapp prohibits any kind of scraping in its terms of service.
Unfortunately, criminals aren’t known to like following the rules – even in cyberspace.
By the way: Meta is currently suing a bunch of Chinese companies. It is said to have hijacked more than a million Whatsapp accounts to send spam. Read more here.
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