Hundreds of millions of WhatsApp numbers have been leaked on hacking forum, putting you at risk, experts warn
A HACKER has claimed to be selling the WhatsApp numbers of nearly 500 million people.
The threat was discovered on a notorious hacking forum called BreachForums.
The scammer said WhatsApp users’ 487 million active mobile phone numbers spread across 84 countries.
The threat was first made in mid-November.
Over 32 million users in the US and around 11 million in the UK could be affected should the threat from the hackers be real.
The threat actor, posting under the alias “Agency123456,” has claimed that the data set was acquired in 2022.
They did not provide any information about how they got the data.
But the hacker told Cybernews, a digital security agency, that they are selling the US record for $7000 (£5710) and the UK record for $2500 (£2040).
WhatsApp users have been urged to pay attention to calls or messages from unknown numbers.
Cybernews confirmed that a sample of nearly 2000 numbers given to them by the hacker were all active users.
But WhatsApp has denied the claim, stating that they have not found a leak of this size in that time period.
A WhatsApp spokesman told The Sun: “This is not a data leak from WhatsApp.
“We are disappointed to see that Check Point is buying a list of phone numbers circulating the internet to repeat unsubstantiated claims in order to get some free publicity.”
The numbers are expected to be valuable to phishers.
Phishing scams are an increasingly popular tactic used by bad actors, sending people deceptive messages with the intention of revealing sensitive information.
These types of scams are often aimed at vulnerable, less tech-savvy phone users. They can appear on a smartphone or your landline.
Phishers are getting smarter about their scams, often appealing to people’s good nature to get the information they want.
But real employees of companies or banks will never demand that you give out your personal information over the phone, voice call or message.
How to block a suspicious number
If you receive a suspicious SMS or call from an unknown number, you can easily prevent them from contacting you again.
Blocking a number means you will stop receiving messages, calls and status updates from them.
To block a number, open WhatsApp and click on the chat with the unknown number.
At the top of the screen, tap the phone number that has your face picture on it.
Then scroll to the bottom of this page and tap block or Report and block.
Alternatively, you can click “Calls” at the bottom of the screen, find the suspicious number and click the “i” icon on the right.
Then scroll to the bottom of the page and tap block or Report and block.
You can also report an account by long-pressing on an individual message.
When a number is blocked, your last seen, online status updates, and any changes made to your profile photo are no longer visible to them.
WhatsApp will receive the last five messages that the reported user or group sent to you and they will not be notified.
The company also receives the reported group or user ID, information about when the message was sent, and the type of message sent (image, video, text, etc.).
Blocking a contact does not remove them from your contact list, nor does it remove you from the list on the contact’s phone.
To delete a contact, you must delete the contact from your phone’s address book.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/10069523/hundreds-millions-whatsapp-numbers-leaked-hacking/ Hundreds of millions of WhatsApp numbers have been leaked on hacking forum, putting you at risk, experts warn