While we’re fresh from knowing there existed a spyware inside WhatsApp call, here we have another one, for which Facebook will again be under scrutiny. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has now been found to have leaked contact details of celebrities, brands and influencers in what appears to be yet another case of a data leak.
A database hosted on Amazon Web Services was found to be the culprit as it contained the information of millions of Instagram accounts without being restricted by a password, reports TechCrunch. The database had over 49 million records, each of which contained public data like profile pictures, bio and follower counts as well as private information like email addresses and phone numbers.
According to the report, the database belonged to Mumbai-based marketing firm Chtrbox which paid influencers on Instagram to sponsor content. Records were also found to feature the “worth” of each account based on followers count, engagement, likes and shares. This was then considered as a metric to determine how much the firm could pay the influencer.
The report also detailed that the records exposed also had private information of influencers who had no history with Chtrbox.
The database has since then been taken offline though we’re unaware for how long and to what extent the leaked data was accessed for.
Facebook, which owns Instagram said in a statement “We’re looking into the issue to understand if the data described – including email and phone numbers – was from Instagram or from other sources. We’re also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available”.