In one of the biggest data breaches ever, the phone numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users have been leaked and are up for sale. The database, up for sale on a popular hacking forum which contains the private information of WhatsApp users from 84 countries, according to a report by Cybernews.
There are 32 million US user records in the set, according to the person who put the data up for sale. Additionally, it has a sizable user base in Egypt, Italy, France, the UK, Russia, and India.
According to the report, the US dataset is available for $7,000, while the UK one will cost $2,500.
Cybernews said that when they contacted the seller, he shared 1,097 UK-based numbers as proof. The publication investigated the numbers and confirmed that they were all from WhatsApp accounts.
However, the hacker did not specify how they obtained the data.
Such data is frequently employed in cybercrimes like smishing and vishing, which both entail sending the victim a text message with a link that must be clicked. The user is then prompted for their payment card number or other sensitive information.
This is not the first instance in which a Meta-owned platform has been hit by a data breach.
Last year, the personal data of over 500 million Facebook users, including 6 million records from India, was allegedly leaked. The leaked data then included phone numbers and other details.