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The leak of WhatsApp user numbers has sparked widespread concern among users in the past hours, with a database of a quarter of the app’s users — 2 billion users globally — found on the dark web, as well as on several electronic devices. Piracy sites.
Although the incident is not the first of its kind, this kind of leak can be exploited to hack users’ phones, sending malicious links that can be penetrated when users’ phones are unlocked, opening the door for many violations through spying or hacking. Phone calls or WhatsApp calls.
In such leaks, users should take all possible precautions to secure their account, however, users can also be hacked, so there are many things to do immediately when hacked, as the WhatsApp application has mentioned several emergency settings, what all WhatsApp users should do immediately if it is confirmed that they have been hacked:
Emergency Settings for WhatsApp WhatsApp Recovery
Before you try to recover your WhatsApp account, you should tell all your contacts that your account has already been hacked.
When someone hacks your account on WhatsApp, they can send messages to your contacts stating that the company sent a verification code and then access their account, so you should message your friends and family to let them know that you’ve lost access. account and also prevent hacking of other people’s accounts.
Sign out of all computers and phones where your account is registered
Log out of WhatsApp with your phone number and verify your phone number by entering the 6 digit code you will receive via SMS, once you enter the 6 digit SMS code, the hacked person will be automatically logged out of your WhatsApp account.
Do not log out and then log back in
One of the methods hackers use is verification codes to block you so they can gain access, and this procedure works because WhatsApp allows you to send multiple verification codes at once, and when the hacker finishes all his attempts, you have to wait. You have 12 hours to get another attempt, in this case, the hacker will get the codes and login to your account, so if you receive many WhatsApp messages containing verification codes, it is better to ignore them and continue using your WhatsApp account normally.
Type the two-factor authentication verification code
You may also be asked to enter a two-factor authentication verification code, if you do not know this code, the person using your account may have enabled two-factor authentication verification.
In this case, you have to wait 7 days to login without 2 factor authentication verification code, regardless of whether you know this verification code or not, if you enter 6 digits the hacked person will be logged out of your account. SMS code numbers.
What if you share a WhatsApp code?
Don’t share the six digit WhatsApp code if you receive a message on your phone by entering the numbers, as you may be hacked, if you do, you should notify WhatsApp via firstname.lastname@example.org to deactivate your account.
If your account is confirmed to have been hacked again, please deactivate your account by sending an email to email@example.com and if it is not accessed within 30 days your account will be automatically deleted.
Activists on social media had spread the news that the data of half a billion WhatsApp users had been leaked and offered for sale.
According to the special “Cyber News” website, an advertisement was published on a well-known hacking community forum, in which it was stated that the 2022 database of 487 million mobile phone numbers was introduced for WhatsApp users.
He explained that the dataset contains data of WhatsApp users from 84 countries.
According to the site, the vendor shared a sample of WhatsApp database data with investigators working on it. The combined sample consisted of 1,097 British and 817 American user numbers.
He explained that the site investigated all the numbers included in the sample and was able to confirm that they all belong to WhatsApp users.
The ad owner did not specify how it obtained the database, stating that they “used their strategy” to collect the data, and confirmed to CyberNews that all the numbers in this case belong to active WhatsApp users.
According to CyberNews analysts, information about WhatsApp users is obtained through large-scale profiling, also known as scraping, which violates the app’s terms of service.
Leaked phone numbers can be used for marketing, impersonation and fraud purposes.
“In this day and age, we all leave a huge digital footprint – and tech giants like Meta must take every precaution and means to protect that data,” said Mantas Sasnoskas, CyberNews Research Team Lead.
“Companies must take aggressive steps to mitigate threats from a technical perspective and prevent misuse of the platform,” he said.
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