A post on a "well-known hacking community forum" claims that almost 500 million WhatsApp records have been hacked and are for sale.

The post, which multiple sources have confirmed to be likely true, claims to sell an updated 2022 database of 487 million mobile numbers used on WhatsApp, containing data from 84 countries.

This means that almost a quarter of WhatsApp's approximately two billion monthly active users are potentially at risk.

WhatsApp data breach

More than 32 million of the leaked recordings are believed to be from US users, including 11 million UK users. Other affected countries are Egypt (45 million), Italy (35 million), Saudi Arabia (29 million), France (20 million), Turkey (20 million) and Russia (10 million).

It appears that individual country data is available, with US data for €7,000 and UK figures for a similar per capita figure of €2,500.

More alarmingly, it doesn't appear to be an empty promise designed to threaten the Meta-owned company, with nearly 2000 numbers shared with Cybernews in a verified sample request as WhatsApp users.

Leaked phone numbers can be used for a number of reasons, including marketing and phishing, which highlights the importance of a good identity theft protection tool.

This isn't the first time WhatsApp has made headlines when it comes to data security, and while it may not be the only one, its track record is littered with vulnerabilities and scams.

TechRadar Pro has contacted Meta to verify the authenticity of this seller's claims and for further feedback, which will be posted here when received.

Via Cybernews (Opens in a new tab)

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