Instagram Influencer’s Account Information Exposed
The life of Instagram Influencers goes public. An exposed database seems to have been added to the information available about them.
According to a TechCrunch report, account details of 49 million Instagram users, including influential people and brand accounts, have been published online. The note contains public data that appears to have been extracted from Instagram user profiles, as well as personal data such as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.
According to the report, the database belongs to Chtrbox, an Indian marketing company that connects influential people with brands who want to promote their products. Chtrbox has not responded to the matter yet.
“We’re looking into the issue to understand if the data described — including email and phone numbers — was from Instagram or from other sources,” an Instagram spokeswoman said in a statement. “We’re also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available.”
Instagram prohibits deleting accounts in its terms of service. The website of the Chtrbox claims to have more than 184,000 Instagram influencer’s as customers, far fewer than the millions of records reportedly found in the database.
This is not for the first time that Instagram accounts have published high profile user information. In 2017, hackers used a software error in the photo-sharing app to find phone numbers and contact information of celebrities.
According to TechCrunch, independent cyber security researcher Anurag Sen found the data and found that the database is no longer visible to the public. An under-protected cloud database is another problem – a problem that grows as more and more companies, place sensitive data on cloud servers without the necessary data security expertise. Researchers around the world are looking for exposed databases and are trying to get companies to secure them. This is, for example, a cache with demographic data for 80 million American households that were removed in April.
“Celebrity Instagram users might be at risk if hackers got their hands on their private email addresses. He recommended Gmail users check their security settings through the Google Security Checkup and also set up extra login protections, including prompts and the Advance Protection Program,” said Mark Risher, head of account security at Google,
“Given the high-profile nature of some of these accounts, attackers may try to break into the email accounts as a means to impersonate the legitimate account holder,” Risher said.
Julia Sowells950 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.