WhatsApp compromised, NITDA raises the alarm

WhatsApp, the application of choice for instant messaging has been allegedly compromised.

According to numerous reports, hackers were able to steal the data of about 500 million WhatsApp users in an attack, prompting the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency to issue an advisory warning of an impending danger of threat actors using these stolen data to carry out malicious activities, which may put users at risk.

One report stated that an actor recently posted an ad in a hacking community forum to sell the data of over 487 million WhatsApp users, including their mobile numbers. The report stated that the WhatsApp data was probably obtained using web scraping or web harvesting.

According to NITDA, there are over nine million WhatsApp users in Nigeria. It said, “Such information could be used to perpetrate cyber-attacks such as smishing and vishing.”

It explained, “Smishing involves sending unsuspecting users test message(s) and asking them to click on links or provide personal information which can be used to scam victims or to launch other attacks.

It explained that vishing, on the other hand, entails the use of phone calls or voice messages by cyber criminals to manipulate or deceive unsuspecting recipients into revealing or giving out sensitive information, which could be used to carry out fraudulent acts.

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