(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Jamaica is reportedly among 84 countries affected by a WhatsApp data leak, with nearly 400,000 local phone numbers compromised.
The announcement was made by online security publication Cybernews via its Twitter account.
Cybernews’ official website states that someone is allegedly selling up-to-date mobile phone numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users from 84 countries. It said a data sample investigated by Cybernews likely confirms the allegations to be true.
It was reported that on November 16, a threat actor posted an ad on a well-known hacking community forum, claiming to be selling a 2022 database of 487 million WhatsApp user mobile numbers, with over 32 million US user records included.
Meanwhile, another huge chunk of phone numbers reportedly belongs to the citizens of Egypt (45 million), Italy (35 million), Saudi Arabia (29 million), France (20 million), and Turkey (20 million).
The dataset for sale also allegedly has nearly 10 million Russian and over 11 million UK citizens’ phone numbers, while 385,890 Jamaican records were noted.
The threat actor stated that the US dataset was being sold for $7,000, the UK – $2,500, and Germany – $2,000, Cybernews said.
Cybernews added that this information is mostly used by attackers for smishing and vishing attacks. It is recommending that users remain wary of any calls from unknown numbers, unsolicited calls and messages.
WhatsApp is reported to have more than two billion monthly active users globally.