Did you know that more than 2 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp?

WhatsApp Messenger has seen an increase in the use of its application by users around the globe to stay connected with friends and their loved ones at any time.

As more people make their online presence known, the higher the trail of their digital footprint.  Hence, the chances of potential hackers gaining access to online users’ mobile numbers and personal information have been made more accessible.

This article aims to highlight the widely used technique to obtain users’ mobile phone numbers, and, the most recent incident of how millions of WhatsApp numbers globally are put up for sale.

Data Scrapping

Firstly, data scrapping is a technique that allows the software to import information from a website to a spreadsheet for later use. Furthermore, this information can present itself in the form of personal information like a user’s biodata details or mobile numbers.

In this case, it was a database seller gaining access to billions of WhatsApp users’ numbers ranging from Asia all the way to the Americas as of late November 2022. Interestingly, Malaysia’s WhatsApp users made up 21.5 million of the 1.5 billion global WhatsApp users.

Similarly, a former incident of data scrapping took place on April 2021 and gained traction upon the public learning that more than 530 million Facebook users’ personal information has been up for sale in a database marketplace! 

In addition to that, sceptics reckon that the November 2022 data scrapping incident was the remnants of the April 2021 data scraping fiasco. However, no matter the technique’s invasiveness, it is actually legal and considered ethical if the data being scraped abides by International data regulations.

Moreover, the seller reassured the public that the mobile numbers collected were merely WhatsApp numbers from a total of 98 nations worldwide. 

Our Advice

Are you worried that your Whatsapp mobile number may end up making its way on the list in the database market for sale? 

Do not take this lightly and think the listings contained just WhatsApp numbers because hackers can still potentially use them to deliver spam messages.

We advise Whatsapp users to remain calm and stay on alert when they receive WhatsApp messages from unknown numbers. 

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Penetration Testing on a network or computer system is conducted to identify security vulnerabilities that can be used to gain unauthorized access to the network’s or system’s features and data. Penetration testing is used to help companies better protect themselves against cyber attacks. 

IT Security Awareness Program helps you manage the ongoing problem of social engineering and create a human firewall. Employees are frequently exposed to sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks. Therefore, they need to be trained with this new-school integrated platform where you can train and phish your users, see their Phish-prone percentage™ improve over time and get measurable results.

Source: Lowyat: Millions Of Malaysian WhatsApp Numbers Are Currently Up For Sale

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