An independent cybersecurity researcher from India recently found a secret about the tech-giant, Google. Athul Jayaram says the mobile number of several WhatsApp users is available on the popular search engine in just one click. However, one need not act surprised due to this allegation. Because this is not the first time Google’s name came under scandalous suspicions. Previously Google’s incognito mode proved that it was spying on you. Now it has gone up to the point of sharing private numbers with general mass. Your WhatsApp number may be available to many Google users.
In a recent blog post, Jayaram noticed something strange about the search engine. There were almost around 30000 WhatsApp user’s phone numbers available in plain text for everyone on the internet. Most of these users are from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and India. But there are other countries too.
WhatsApp numbers leaked on Google
WhatsApp has a click to chat feature where the links are generated as https://wa.me/”. Jayaram says this feature he revealed, does not encrypt the phone number in the link, as a result, if this link is shared anywhere, your phone number is also visible in plaintext.
For instance, Jayaram explains, if a user shares a “click to chat” link with a friend on Twitter or any other platform his/her mobile number will be visible in plain text in the URL itself and anyone and everyone who finds the URL will be able to get hold of the phone number which can’t be revoked.
To find out which mobile numbers appear on Google Search type site:wa.me followed by <country code>. For example, if you wish to find the Indian mobile numbers available on Google type site:wa.me “+91” on the search bar.
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