The world’s most used instant messaging application seems to have suffered a security breach that would have exposed the data of so many users that it would exceed the total population of all of Europe.
Someone is selling mobile phone numbers of almost 500 million WhatsApp users. The theft was disclosed on November 16, when a hacker posted an announcement on a well-known hacker community forum.
In the ad, the pirate claims to sell a 2022 database with 487 million mobile phone numbers of users of WhatsApp. If this is true, we would be talking about the biggest leak in the history of the Facebook application (now Meta).
The data set contains -supposedly- WhatsApp user data from 84 countries. The hacker responsible for the threat claims that there are more than 32 million US user records included.
Another large number of telephone numbers belong to the citizens of Egypt (45 million), Italy (35 million), Saudi Arabia (29 million), France (20 million) and Turkey (20 million). The dataset for sale also has almost 10 million phone numbers of Russian citizens and more than 11 million Britons.
The prices of theft that affect Android and Apple
The pirate explained to specialized media that he was selling US dataset for $7,000, UK for $2,500, and Germany for $2,000. As you can see, these are very low prices for so many stolen accounts.
This information is mainly used by attackers to carry out smishing and vishing attacks, so we recommend that you be alert to any calls from unknown numbers, unsolicited calls and messages.
According to the information we have, WhatsApp has more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide.. So we are talking about a quarter of the total users of the application (regardless of whether they use Android or Apple).
The vendor did not specify how it obtained the database, suggesting that it “used its strategy” to collect the data, and assured Cybernews that all instance numbers belong to active users of WhatsApp.