A gigantic database with information on millions of Instagram accounts belonging to brands and celebrities has been found on the net. The database was hosted by Amazon Web Services, and was available without a password to the general public. A few hours ago, it had over 49 million records and was still growing.
The database contained information that can be found in users' profiles, such as their biography, profile picture, number of followers and location by city and country. But not only that, it also contained private information such as email address and phone number.
Security investigator Anurag Sen discovered the database and alerted our source TechCrunch, who managed to trace the origin of the list. The owners of the database turned out to be from a social network marketing company called Chtrbox, located in Bombay. This firm pays Instagram celebrities to publish branded content on their accounts, so the list was used by the company to measure the value of each account based on its popularity.
Our source checked several of the data listed in the document and verified that they were correct. This new scandal comes only two years after Instagram admitted that a major security flaw in its API for developers had allowed hackers to obtain private data from as many as six million accounts. It later became known that the data had been sold by the group of hackers in exchange for Bitcoins.
In response to this latest incident, Facebook commented: "We are investigating this case to be able to check whether the data copied (including emails and phone numbers) come from Instagram or another source. We're also talking to Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it could be made public."
Recently, Pavel Durov, the owner of Telegram, stated that "WhatsApp will never be safe. Do you think the same of Instagram? Will these privacy scandals end with Facebook and all its companies? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.