Personal data from millions Instagram accounts reported leaked recently. The data was compiled and posted on an online database found by security researcher Anurag Sen.
Reporting from Neowin‘s page, Tuesday (05/21/2019), it displayed six million personal data on Instagram accounts of famous brands, influencers and celebrities.
According to the source, most of this data contains more than 49 million entries and hosted by Amazon Web Services. After finding the database, Sen told TechCrunch, who then tried to trace its origin to find the cause and secure open data.
Their effort were successful and the database owner turned out to be an Indian social media marketing company called Chtrbox. Chtrbox, a marketing company based in Mumbai, pays Instagram influencers to post ads on their account.
Apparently, the company obtained data to calculate the appropriate payment to the Instagram account holder for sponsored content. The database contains records that determine the net worth of each account based on factors such as likes, shares, number of followers, interactions and reach.
Records found contain explicit information about each account including public and personal information about media influencers and bloggers. In addition to personal telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, other information in the database includes profile pictures, bios, number of followers and whether users have verified their location both by city and country.
Instagram Data Leaked: Who is The Culprit?
The respective users are contacted and notified about the violation. TechCrunch verifies that leaked phone numbers and e-mail addresses belong to popular social media influencers, and that victims have no connection with Chtrbox. Facebook Inc. has also issued a statement about data violations.
“We are studying this issue to understand whether the data described – including e-mails and telephone numbers – comes from Instagram or from other sources. We also asked Chtrbox to check where this data came from and how the data is available to the public, “said the Facebook, the owner of Instagram.
Not long after TechCrunch contacted Chtrbox, the company deleted the database from the internet. Until now, the CEO of Indian company Pranay Swarup has not commented on this issue or explained how or why the company gets so much personal data from Instagram.
This is not the first time for Facebook Company to face problems with data leaks and similar accidents.
Apart from the famous Cambridge Analytica scandal, last month, security researchers found unprotected data sets for two integrated Facebook applications stored on the Amazon S3 server, showing more than 540 million records of user data including passwords stored in plain text.