Private contact data of millions of Instagram users was reportedly exposed


Almost 50 million Instagram celebrities and influencers had their personal information compromised in a leak of a social media marketing firm's database.

The Facebook-owned Instagram is now investigating. The website said security researcher Anurag Sen had alerted it after discovering the database so that the owner could be alerted about the breach. Apart from personal contact number, details like email address, bio, profile picture, whether the account is verified or not, number of followers and location including city and country were exposed.

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

"We're also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available".

More news: Beijing denounces USA warship sail-by in South China Sea
More news: John Wick 4 Gets A Release Date
More news: Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott handcuffed but not charged after shoving security guard

Chtrbox reportedly pays influencers - users with a big audience, who can persuade their users to act on their recommendations - to post sponsored content on their accounts.

The personal details of multiple Instagram influencers, including celebrities and food bloggers, were also found on the database, as were estimates of each account's commercial worth based on details such as the number of followers and the account's engagement. As TechCrunch explains, this data was "used as a metric to determine how much the company could pay an Instagram celebrity or influencer to post an ad".

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.

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.