Someone is allegedly selling up-to-date mobile phone numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users.
Last week, a threat actor posted an ad on a well-known hacking community forum, claiming they were selling a 2022 database of 487 million WhatsApp user mobile numbers.
The dataset allegedly contains WhatsApp user data from 84 countries. The actor claims the records include over 32 million US users, 45 million from Egypt, 35 million from Italy and 29 million from Saudi Arabia, as well as data from Russia and the UK.
The threat actor said they were selling the US dataset for US$7,000 – approximately $10,000 Australian dollars.
Such information is mostly used by attackers for smishing and vishing attacks.
Smishing is the fraudulent practice of sending text messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
Vishing is similar, except it involves making phone calls or leaving voice messages.
WhatsApp is reported to have more than two billion monthly active users globally.
WhatsApp users should remain wary of any calls from unknown numbers, unsolicited calls and text messages.
CyberBeat is a grassroots initiative from a team of producers and subject matter experts, driven out of frustration at the lack of media coverage, responding to an urgent need to provide a clear, concise, informative and educational approach to the growing fields of Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy.
If you have a story of interest, a comment, a concern or if you'd just like to say Hi, please contact us
We couldn't do this without the support of our sponsors and contributors.