Socially engineered hacks rise as millions of WhatsApp users’ data go on sale on Dark Web: report

Sellers on Dark Web claim that records include data from 360 million WhatsApp users from 108 countries

December 02, 2022 02:18 pm | Updated 02:18 pm IST

A file photo of the WhatsApp logo.

A file photo of the WhatsApp logo. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Phishing attacks witnessed a 17% increase in malicious emails during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a report from Check Point Research revealed.

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The provider of cyber security solutions also shared that this year Amazon Prime Day witnessed an 86% increase in Amazon-related phishing emails.

The report comes close on the heels of reports claiming that hackers were selling WhatsApp numbers on the Dark Web. Though it cannot be verified if these numbers are from WhatsApp users, the leak includes 360 million phone numbers from 108 countries.

The data was on sale for 4 days and is now being distributed freely among Dark Web users, the report shared.

The news about these records being sold on the Dark Web first emerged last month with a hacker claiming to be selling the up-to-date personal information of 487 million WhatsApp users from 84 countries.

On Monday, Cybernews, in a report, shared that numbers shared with them in a sample from a seller were confirmed to be from WhatsApp users.

Socially engineered cyber-attacks include Phishing, Vishing and Smishing attacks. In Phishing attacks, cybercriminals send fraudulent communications masquerading to be from a reputable source. Similarly in Vishing, attackers dupe victims into sharing information over the phone while Smishing attacks are conducted using SMS services.

WhatsApp reportedly has more than two billion active global users.

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