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Clubhouse might have just leaked 3.8 BILLION phone numbers

With 3.8 billion numbers in this breach, chances are even if you didn’t use Clubhouse you’re in it

clubhouse app on iphone
Image: KnowTechie

Clubhouse is finally out of beta, but before you rush off to sign up, maybe this story will give you pause. Apparently, the service has suffered a data breach, with 3.8 billion phone numbers in a database that’s for sale on the Darknet.

Let that sink in for a minute. 3.8 billion phone numbers. With an estimated 14.91 billion mobile devices in use worldwide by the end of 2021, that’s roughly a quarter of the world’s phone numbers. A quarter!

That number gets even weirder, though. See, Clubhouse currently has 10 million users, according to CEO Paul Davidson. So, where are the rest of the numbers from?

Well, the seller of the alleged Clubhouse database says that “Clubhouse is connected to all their users’ phonebook.” Each time you add a phone number to your contacts list, “the phone number is automatically added into the secret database of Clubhouse.”

That’s worrying if true. Yes, Clubhouse does ask for access to your contacts at install to help you find people you already know on the app. That’s normal for social media apps, but usually, it’s a one-time scan at the time of asking for permission.

For their part, Clubhouse denies any such data breach, saying that it’s a “series of bots generating billions of random phone numbers” instead. They also deny that the Clubhouse API can return any user identifiable information, so even if hackers had the phone numbers, they wouldn’t be able to use those to get additional data.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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