Monday, January 30, 2023

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WhatsApp data of nearly 500 mn users from 84 countries compromised, says report

WhatsApp data: A study by Cybernews suggests that the WhatsApp data of up to 500 million users from 84 different countries, including India, may have been compromised and sold online.

A post on a “well-known hacking community site” claimed to be selling an up-to-date database of 487 million WhatsApp users. According to the study, it looked into a data sample and determined that the claim was probably real, putting 25% of the 2 billion monthly active users worldwide at risk.

Leaked phone numbers could be used for phishing and marketing, among other things.

According to the research, the US and UK users account for more than 32 million of the stolen documents (11 mn). Egypt (45 million affected users), Italy (35 million), Saudi Arabia (29 million), France (20 million), Turkey (20 million), and Russia are the other countries with the greatest number of affected users (10 mn). More than 6 million WhatsApp users from India could be at risk, the report continued.

According to Cybernews, it obtained a sample of about 2,000 numbers to check the claims of a data breach and discovered that they belonged to WhatsApp users.

The fact that Meta and its web platforms are currently dealing with a data security issue is not new. Over 500 million users of Facebook, another business owned by Meta, had their information made available online for free last year. 419 million Facebook users and 49 million Instagram users’ data were made public in 2019. It experienced another breach that year, exposing the data of 267 million users.

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