WhatsApp Hacked 7.3M OZ Users Revealed, As AG Dreyfus Delivers New Big, Fine Cyber Bill – Channel News
WhatsApp has been hacked with personal data of hundreds of millions of users up for sale, including 7.3 million Australians.
But despite a hack attack on what was supposed to be one of the most secure encryption apps in the world, the federal Labor government has failed to respond, despite both Optus and Medibank being criticized for cyber security failings.
This is the same government that has recently moved to fine corporate executives whose databases are hacked.
According to CyberNews, all information on over 470 million users, including mobile numbers, has been exposed with 7,320,478 Australians now facing the real possibility that their mobile numbers along with confidential messaging information have been compromised.
What’s App is owned by Meta, which also owns Facebook; the app is widely used by suppliers to retailers who communicate daily with foreign manufacturers.
WhatsApp is reported to have more than two billion monthly active users globally.
Upon request, the seller of WhatsApp’s database shared a sample of data with CyberNews researchers.
The stolen database is said to contain WhatsApp user data from 84 countries, information on 32 million US users and 7.3 million Australians is now openly available on the dark web for a price.
WhatsApp is supposed to have end-to-end encryption, but despite this, a hacker managed to gain access to the data of millions of WhatsApp users.
Previously, the app was described as one of the most secure mobile messaging apps on all devices.
Now questions are being asked about how the company’s executives in Australia can be held accountable when one of the world’s biggest technology companies is unable to prevent criminals from hacking into databases.
“Governments, businesses and other organizations have an obligation to protect Australians’ personal data, not to treat it as a commercial asset,” Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said.
Dreyfus has failed to explain how an organization can stop hackers getting into the company’s databases or what the benchmark is that would stop hackers getting personal information held by companies such as Medibank.
The WhatsApp hackers even created a price list for the stolen personal information.
For example, the WhatsApp user database in the US sells for $7,000. UK’s database is $2500 and Germany’s is $2000
Meta, the umbrella company of WhatsApp, is yet to issue a statement.
It is currently speculated that the WhatsApp data was obtained using web scraping or web harvesting, where an automated data tool is used to collect data from a particular service, which violates WhatsApp’s terms of service.
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