Network security website CyberNews reported that hackers recently peddled the information of 487 million WhatsApp users on a well-known hacker discussion forum. The leak involved users in 84 countries or regions, of which more than 2.93 million users in Hong Kong were leaked.
On November 16, someone posted in the hacker forum that he would sell a database containing the mobile phone numbers of 487 million WhatsApp users in 2022. The dataset contains WhatsApp users from 84 countries or regions, including 32 million US users, 45 million Egyptian users, 35 million Italian users, 29 million Saudi Arabian users, 20 million French users, 20 million Turkish users, and nearly 10 million Russian users users and 11 million UK users. In Hong Kong, more than 2.93 million user data were leaked.
CyberNews contacted the seller, who provided the phone numbers of 1,097 UK users and 817 US users as samples for reporters to confirm. Ultimately, CyberNews confirmed that they were all WhatsApp users.
The sellers declined to say how they obtained the database, but suggested they collected the data through “tactics.” Meta itself has long been criticized for allowing third parties to scrape or collect user data. Cybernews contacted WhatsApp’s parent company Meta about the incident, but Meta has yet to respond to the incident.