Contact info of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities leaked online

Alfred Osborne
May 21, 2019

The database had information of many popular food bloggers, celebrities and Instagram influencers. The database, which was hosted by Amazon Web Services, belonged to a Mumbai-based marketing firm and did not have any kind of password protection.

A few years ago, Instagram admitted a security bug in its developer API, which allowed hackers to obtain users information like email addresses and phone numbers of six million Instagram accounts.

For Facebook users, the revelation probably didn't come as a big surprise as the company has recently apologized for several data leaks and has been accused of privacy breaches.

The report reviewed that each record contained public data scraped from influencer Instagram accounts which included their bio, profile picture, the number of followers they have, if they're verified and their location by city and country. This company pays influencers to post sponsored content on their accounts, so each record in the leaked database also contained the worth of each account.

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The database was reported to lack a password or encryption, and was said to have more than 49 million records in it before being taken offline after a query was made to Chtrbox.

According to the report, the users and influencers are clients of Mumbai-based influencer marketing agency Chtrbox.

"We're looking into the issue to understand if the data described ─ including email and phone numbers ─ was from Instagram or from other sources", Instagram said in an email reply to an AFP inquiry. This was used to determine how much Chtrbox should pay each influencer/celebrity.

On Tuesday, an Instagram spokesperson said they were investigating whether a third party improperly stored Instagram data, in violation of its policies.

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