Massive WhatsApp Data Breach Leaks Users' Phone Numbers; Should You Worry?

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Massive WhatsApp Data Breach Leaks Users' Phone Numbers

In a shocking incident, phone numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users have been leaked and have been put up for sale on a popular hacking forum. What's shocking is that the leaked database is up for sale for as much as $7,000 (approx. ₹5,72,000).

 

The leaked database that revealed these phone numbers contains private information of WhatsApp users from as many as 84 countries. The massive data breach is said to have included 32 million records from the US, and millions of phone numbers from the UK, India, Italy, France, Japan, Egypt, Bulgaria, and more.

Massive WhatsApp Data Breach

As per a report by Cybernews, a hacker has posted the data of over 500 million records on sale. If someone is interested to buy the data in a specific country, then the price will be relatively lesser. For instance, to buy the data of the UK, one has to shell out $2,500 (approx. ₹2,04,000) instead of $7,000 as mentioned above. This way, the person will be able to access the private information of WhatsApp users in the UK.

As per the source, when they contacted the seller, he shared 1,097 numbers from the UK as evidence. Upon investigation, the numbers were legit as they were used to register WhatsApp accounts. However, the hacker did not specify how he obtained the data. The report has also shared an image depicting the list of countries affected by this breach and the number of accounts that were exposed. In India, it is said that over 6 million WhatsApp users have been affected by the data breach.

 

Should You Worry About WhatsApp Data Breach?

If you are wondering what a hacker or anyone else can do with your exposed WhatsApp user data, such information comes in handy to commit online crimes and scams. Users are often asked to click a link or provide their credit card details or share some sensitive information, which could make them lose money or get involved in a scam.

However, it is not easy to tell if your WhatsApp number has been exposed in this data breach. To refrain from landing into trouble, it is good that you do not click on any suspicious links. If you receive any such link, then do not open it unless you are certain that a trustworthy source has sent it.

WhatsApp and its parent company Meta have faced such breaches in the past as well. We can expect the issue to be fixed soon. It is up to the users to stay safe and protect themselves from falling into scams.

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