Instant messaging and voice-over-IP service WhatsApp, which is considered a secure platform due to its end-to-end encryption feature, has allegedly had a data leak that compromises almost 500 million users. Mashable India, a digital media platform, has reported that 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.
Allegedly, an actor advertised the sale of over 487 million WhatsApp users’ personal information, including their cell numbers on a hacker site. The listing states that the user data comprises 32 million US users and comes from 84 other nations including Egypt, Italy, Saudi Arabia, France, and Turkey.
The stolen phone numbers can be used for impersonation, phishing, and other fraudulent operations. Whatsapp’s parent company Meta has not yet replied to this update. As per Mashable India, the WhatsApp user database from the US is being sold for USD 7,000 which is much higher when compared to rates of user data from the UK and Germany which costs USD 2,500 and USD 2,000, respectively. Reportedly, it’s intriguing that no user profiles from India are on the list.
A tiny amount of data that includes user information for 1097 US phone numbers and 817 UK phone numbers was shared by the hacked when cybernews asked for a sample from them, according to Mashable India.