Instagram leak: Personal details of 49 million users exposed

Network influencers, celebrities, and brand accounts were among those who's details were leaked

May 21, 2019 10:31
1 minute read.
A photo illustration shows the applications Facebook and Instagram on the screen of an iPhone

A photo illustration shows the applications Facebook and Instagram on the screen of an iPhone. (photo credit: ANTONIO BRONIC/ REUTERS)


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Cellphone numbers and email addresses belonging to 49 million Instagram users were leaked, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday

The report said that celebrities, influencers and brand accounts were among those whose details were leaked.
The leak also included public information from Instagram accounts such as the number of followers, likes, and shares of a particular user.

The details were posted onto Amazon servers, which were left exposed and without password protection.

The tech news website also reported that the database traces back to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox

In a statement, Facebook, the social media giant that owns Instagram, said it was looking into the matter, TechCrunch reported.

“We’re looking into the issue to understand if the data described – including email and phone numbers – was from Instagram or from other sources,” Facebook said. “We’re also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available.”

Last week, a vulnerability on social messaging app WhatsApp was reportedly enabling the installation of advanced surveillance spyware developed by Israeli cyber firm NSO Group on phones and other mobile devices.

According to The Financial Times, WhatsApp engineers made the discovery earlier this month, and found that it was enabling hackers to remotely install spyware developed by the NSO Group by calling targets using Whatsapp’s voice calling function. WhatsApp said that users did not need to answer the phone for the code to be inserted.

Eytan Halon contributed to this report.

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