Personal data belonging to millions of Instagram influencers have been leaked online. Included in the leaked database is stuff like phone numbers and email addresses belonging to celebrities, influencers or brand accounts all of which were part of the database that was stored on Amazon Web Services but had no password to protect the same.
The database was discovered by security analyst Anurag Sen which was later found to have its origin in Chtrbox, which again happens to be a social media marketing company that operates out of Mumbai. The company, however, didn’t comment on the leak affecting 49 million Instagram users as yet even though Instagram said they have started investigations into the same.
Instagram officials also said they are getting into touch with Chtrbox to find out how things got leaked in the first place, including sensitive info such as phone numbers or email addresses. They are also inquiring if the data that got leaked were at all from Instagram or from anywhere else. As has been found on the official Chtrbox website, the company has about 184,000 Instagram users as its clients, which is just a fraction of the around 49 million records that got leaked.
Among the other aspects that are being actively looked into is how the data got leaked even though Instagram does not allow scraping any kind of data on its platform. It has only been a few weeks back that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had emphasised on security and privacy being the cornerstone of a new social media experience that the company will be rebuilt around. How the company responds to the latest Instagram leaks could be a test of that resolve.
The above also puts the privacy of celebrities, at risk, if their private email address or phone numbers find its way to the hackers. Google too has got into the act claiming it to be quite a serious breach if hackers have already got hold of the info. The company is also suggesting users of its Gmail services to change their passwords as a safety precaution even though it’s not known who all have been affected.