Data of 1,450,124 Bahraini WhatsApp users ‘on sale’ | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Data of 1,450,124 Bahraini WhatsApp users ‘on sale’

TDT | Manama                     

The Daily Tribune –  

Up-to-date phone numbers of nearly 500 million WhatsApp users from 84 countries, including Bahrain, are on sale online, says a report by Cybernews. The dataset allegedly contains phone numbers of 1,450,124 citizens in Bahrain, 28,804,686 citizens in Saudi Arabia, 6,978,927 users in UAE, 5,048,532 people in Oman and 4,468,134 users in Kuwait.

The leak came to light after an advertisement posted by a cyber actor on a hacking community forum claimed to have a 2022 database of 487 million WhatsApp user mobile numbers for sale. Reportedly, WhatsApp has over 2 billion users worldwide.

The majority of phone numbers on sale belong to the citizens of Egypt (45 million), Italy (35 m), Saudi Arabia (29 m), France (20 m), and Turkey (20 m). The dataset for sale also allegedly has nearly 10 million Russian and over 11 million UK citizens’ phone numbers.

Cybernews report quoting a threat actor said they were selling the US dataset for $7,000, the UK – $2,500, and Germany – $2,000. The report warns that such information is used mainly for smishing and vishing attacks.

Cybernews report also confirms having a sample of data from the sellers, which they say were all verified to be WhatsApp users. The report also clarifies that the seller has not disclosed how they obtained the database. WhatsApp parents company Meta is yet to comment on the news.