Instagram has at least 1 billion active monthly users.
After being alerted by Anurag Sen, a security researcher who wanted to get the database secured, TechCrunch traced it back to Chtrbox, a Mumbai-based social media marketing firm. However, the agency has pulled down the database since researchers identify the leaks. LinkedIn lists Chtrbox as having between 11 and 50 employees.
If a company removes information from your site about your users and then spills this data carelessly on the internet, users are likely to feel hurt. Moreover, some of the influencers claim that they aren't associated with Chtrbox.
Chtrbox didn't respond to further questions about where the email addresses and phone numbers came from. Mr Sen did not name the celebrities whose details were exposed but said that some were British. This database contained information that was already available in the public domain, with a nominal amount that itself was reported by influencers.
"The possibility of third parties mishandling user data is something we take seriously, which is why we're quickly working to understand what happened".
It is being said that each database record contained a record that calculated the worth of each account, based off the number of followers, engagement, reach, likes and shares they had. To make matters worse, however, is that the database was left exposed and without a password, inviting anyone, including hackers, to simply take a look inside and pilfer the data.
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Reportedly, sister companies, Facebook and Instagram are probing what went wrong.
Chtrbox, in its statement, asserted that no personal data has been sourced through unethical means by the company.
An unsecured database containing the private contact information of millions of Instagram influencer, celebrities and brand accounts have been discovered and is said to have included personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses.
I wonder how Instagram, owned by Facebook, feels about this. It was a security bug in the developer API. The result was a compromise of personal details in some accounts and some full account compromises.
It's not the first time Instagram accounts have leaked information on high-profile users.
In 2017, Instagram faced a comparable issue when hackers tried to sell celebrity data scraped from Instagram.