According to a post on a “well-known hacker community site,” about half a billion WhatsApp data have been compromised and are for sale.

The article, which numerous sources have verified is likely accurate, promises to offer an up-to-date 2022 database of 487 million WhatsApp cell numbers from 84 countries.

This implies that over a quarter of WhatsApp’s estimated two billion monthly active users might be at risk.

WhatsApp Data

Data breach on WhatsApp

More than 32 million of the leaked documents are claimed to be from users in the United States, with 11 million from users in the United Kingdom, Egypt (45 million), Italy (35 million), Saudi Arabia (29 million), France (20 million), Turkey (20 million), and Russia are also impacted (10 million).

Data breach on WhatsApp

Individual nations’ data seems to be for sale, with the US dataset going for $7,000 and British figures going for a comparable per-capita amount of $2,500.

Worryingly, it does not seem to be an empty threat aimed at the Meta-owned firm, with over 2,000 numbers supplied with Cybernews in a sample request proven to be WhatsApp users.

Leaked phone numbers might be exploited for various purposes, including marketing and phishing, emphasizing the significance of an effective ID theft prevention solution.

This isn’t the first time WhatsApp has made news for data security issues, and although it isn’t alone, its past is riddled with flaws and frauds.

There are billions of potential phone numbers, and thieves value knowing which ones are active and in use. As a consequence of the purported breach, you may expect to witness a significant increase in spam and phishing attacks.

Two-Step Authentication

You should activate two-step authentication to prevent thieves from gaining access to your account.

In your WhatsApp account, you may configure two-step verification. You may activate or disable this function, modify the PIN, or change the email address associated with two-step verification.

Enable two-step verification for WhatsApp

  1. Open WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-step verification > Enable.
  3. Enter a six-digit PIN of your choice and confirm it.
  4. Provide an email address you can access, or tap Skip if you don’t want to add an email address. We recommend adding an email address as this allows you to reset two-step verification and helps safeguard your account.
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Confirm the email address and tap Save or Done.

If you don’t add an email address and you forget your PIN, you’ll have to wait 7 days before you can reset your PIN. Since we don’t verify this email address to confirm its accuracy, make sure you provide an accurate email address you can access.

Disable two-step verification:

  1. Open WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Tap Account Two-step verification >Disable > Disable.

Change your two-step verification PIN

  1. Open WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-step verification Change PIN.

Add an email address

  1. Open WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-step verification > tap Add Email Address.

Change an email address

  1. Open WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-step verification > tap Change Email Address.

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Rhyno Cybersecurity is a Canadian-based company focusing on 24/7 Managed Detection and Response, Penetration Testing, Enterprise Cloud, and Cybersecurity Solutions for small and midsize businesses.

Our products and services are robust, innovative, and cost-effective. Underpinned by our 24x7x365 Security Operations Centre (SOC), our experts ensure you have access to cybersecurity expertise when you need it the most.

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