An Instagram bug exposed millions of accounts

By Anuj Sharma - September 2, 2017
instagram-app
There are over 700 million active Instagram accounts and according to media reports, hackers provided a list of 1,000 accounts that can be searched on the database and also said to have details of 6 m....

A bug that would have been used to access users’ email address and phone number affected a large number of accounts than Instagram had said. Few hours after the bug was discovered, hackers created a database called Doxagram which allowed users to search for victims’ contact information for $10 per search.

“We quickly fixed the bug, and have been working with law enforcement on the matter. Although we cannot determine which specific accounts may have been impacted, we believe it was a low percentage of Instagram accounts,” Instagram said in a blog post

There are over 700 million active Instagram accounts and according to media reports, hackers provided a list of 1,000 accounts that can be searched on the database and also said to have details of 6 million users on a file. However, Instagram said passwords of users were not exposed.  

And while Doxagram went offline on Friday evening, contact information for a number of popular celebrities were available on the dark web. The same bug was responsible to hit Selena Gomez – Instagram’s most-followed user account, earlier this week. Gomez account was taken down for a short span of time, after it was used to post nude photographs of Justin Bieber, her ex-boyfriend.

According to a cybersecurity firm named RepKnight celebrities including:

Actors: Emma Watson, Emilia Clarke, Zac Efron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Channing Tatum.

Musicians: Harry Styles, Ellie Goulding, Victoria Beckham, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Adele, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears.

Athletes: Floyd Mayweather, Zinedine Zidane, Neymar, David Beckham, Ronaldinho.

The news of the hack is disturbing on two aspects -- one, Instagram has no clue which accounts were disclosed, and secondly this implies to average users could also at risk of hacking.

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