Over 3.8 billion phone numbers from the Clubhouse database are reportedly up for sale on the dark web, according to a new report. Hackers may sell the database at a private auction this September.
Clubhouse is a social networking app that allows users to join virtual rooms which feature groups of talkers. The app grew in popularity last year, reaching up to two million active users on a weekly basis.
This could be just one of many data hacks in recent years which placed sensitive user information in the hands of those who could abuse it. Facebook leaked the personal details of over 500 millions users earlier this year.
Hackers are supposedly offering interested parties free samples of the data set, in the aim to prove its authenticity. The collection is so large due to the way Clubhouse collects numbers.
3.8 billion phone numbers
Clubhouse collects the phone numbers of users, but also any other numbers listed on a user's phone. This means that people who have never created an account or downloaded the app could also be part of the compromised data. This is actually illegal in a number of countries, as it’s unethical to obtain an individual's data without their consent.
News of the leak was tweeted by infosec researcher Marc Ruef who spotted the post on the dark net. The holder of the data aims to hold an auction for the data sometime in September, in an aim to see if GDPR laws will affect the business.
A scoring system
Clubhouse uses contact lists in the way it does to rank user’s numbers. The more often a number appears on a user's contact list, the more value is placed in that number. Clubhouse uses these contact details with third-parties, placing more value on those users who appear to be more popular.
The hacker labelled the act a “dangerous violation of human privacy rights” and also comments that is “it’s time to see if the law is going to sanction Clubhouse or if it is only a threat.”
The true scale of the hack will probably never make the light of day, but chances are there are going to be a lot of people appearing on that list who aren’t aware of it. Clubhouse’s popularity might take a major nosedive in the next few months.