Reports say that data from caller identity app Truecaller, including names, phone numbers and email addresses of users worldwide, is available for sale on private internet fora, according to a cybersecurity analyst who is in charge of such transactions.
Data of Indian users, who consists of 60-70% of Truecaller’s global user base of nearly 140 million, is being sold for about Rs 1.5 lakh (€2,000) on the infamous dark web, the person said. Data of global users costs as high as €25,000.
The app, which also provides with payment services through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to its Indian users, denied any breach of security from its part. However, the company did accept that it has found instances of unauthorized copying of data — termed scraping — by its own users. Also, Truecaller offers a premium model (known to many of us), where users can search for an unlimited set of numbers on the platform just by making a simple payment.
“It has been recently brought to our attention that some users have been abusing their accounts,” a representative for Truecaller said in a statement. “In light of this event, we would like to strongly confirm at this stage that no sensitive user information has been accessed or extracted, especially our users’ financial or payment details,” the spokesperson said in reply to queries from ET.
ET reviewed a sample data set that was on sale and came out with the fact that it had personal identifiers as well as users’ state of residence and mobile service provider. A search of random numbers on the Truecaller app gave up results that matched the data shared with ET by the analyst.
“The team has been investigating the matter and has found that a very large percentage of the sample data does not match or is not Truecaller data,” the Swedish company said.
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