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  • 500 million WhatsApp user numbers found on the dark web


    A cybercriminal posted an ad on a darknet forum claiming to be selling a 2022 database containing 487 million WhatsApp user mobile numbers. WhatsApp has over 2 billion monthly active users around the world.

    The attacker claims that the dataset contains WhatsApp user data from 84 countries, including:

    • Egypt (45 million);
    • Italy (35 million);
    • USA (32 million);
    • Saudi Arabia (29 million);
    • France (20 million);
    • Turkey (20 million);
    • UK (11 million);
    • Russia (10 million).

    Upon request, the hacker shared a data sample with Cybernews researchers. There were 1097 UK and 817 US user numbers in the total sample. Cybernews researchers have confirmed that the numbers are real and that the database does indeed contain real WhatsApp users.

    The seller did not specify how he obtained the database, but assured experts that all the numbers in the database belong to active WhatsApp users. Meta hasn't commented yet.

    The researchers suggested that information about WhatsApp users could be obtained by scraping and parsing, which violates the WhatsApp Terms of Service.

    Previously, a team of researchers found that users of WhatsApp, Signal and Threema instant messengers could be located with over 80% accuracy by launching a specially crafted timing attack.

    The trick lies in the time it takes for the attacker to be notified of the delivery status of the victim's message. These notifications have certain predictable delays depending on the position of the user.


    Author DeepWeb
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