Your WhatsApp data may be up for sale. It seems that information from millions of WhatsApp accounts could be up for sale on the dark web following an alleged data breach.
Leaked WhatsApp Data From 87 Countries
An anonymous user on a popular hacking forum recently advertised the sale of stolen WhatsApp data from a total of 487 million accounts. Users from 87 countries were allegedly under fire, including a reported total of 32,315,282 in the United States. Other countries targeted include Russia, Egypt, Italy, the UK, Saudi Arabia and India.
Considering that WhatsApp has about 2 billion users globally, this is a huge amount of people whose private information could now be at risk due to cybersecurity.
While the alleged leaked information is limited to mobile numbers and emails, this puts users at high risk of phishing attacks and impersonation.
Transaction details are said to be taking place through Telegram and data sets are being sold independently, prices varying according to country. For example, the US data set is supposedly on sale for $7,000.
The Potential Threat of Leaked Data
Although this data breach has yet to be officially confirmed by Meta, your private information may be in danger.
In addition to phishing attacks, hackers could clone SIM cards, using personal data to impersonate people close to you. While they may not be able to recover existing messages in private chats, hackers could easily access group chats and in that way, access certain online contacts.
It is also important to note that the anonymous seller has stated that WhatsApp information for sale is only from active users using the messaging app.
How To Protect Your Private Information
This isn’t the first data leak to occur. In 2021, the stolen data of 533 million Facebook users were leaked online, including phone numbers, addresses, email addresses and biographical information.
It is best to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of private information. Besides ignoring any suspicious messages or phone calls from unknown numbers, it is recommended to change your email passwords and ensure two-step verification on WhatsApp.
As for whether you may be one of the users whose information has been leaked, there is no way to be sure for now. However, it pays to be safe! Take whatever measures are necessary to retain your privacy.