WhatsApp is typically regarded as a secure cross-platform instant messaging service that runs on practically any device thanks to technology like end-to-end encryption. But according to a recent allegation from Cybernews, someone managed to hack WhatsApp and acquired the personal information of almost 500 million users, which is now purportedly for sale.
In a hacking site, an actor allegedly advertised the sale of over 487 million WhatsApp users’ personal information, including their cell numbers. Additionally, the listing states that the user data includes 32 million US users and comes from 84 different nations.
Additionally, user data from nations like Egypt, Italy, Saudi Arabia, France, and Turkey is included in the list of compromised data. It’s also intriguing that there are no user profiles from India on the list. The price of the US WhatsApp user database is $7,000. In comparison, the databases for the UK and Germany cost $2,500 and $2,000, respectively.
When cybernews asked for a sample, the hacker sent a tiny amount of data that includes user information for 1097 US phone numbers and 817 UK phone numbers. These stolen phone numbers could be used for impersonation, phishing, and other fraudulent operations.
Meta has not yet replied to this update. Currently, it is believed that the 500 million WhatsApp users’ data was taken by web harvesting or web scraping, which involves using an automated data tool to gather information from a particular site in violation of WhatsApp’s terms of service.