It is no secret that Facebook is not exactly a secure platform. Now, it seems like this not-so-great aspect of the social media platform has also started rubbing off on the company’s photo-sharing app Instagram. A report has surfaced online that says that personal data of millions of influencers and celebrities has been exposed on Instagram in a massive database breach.
According to the report in TechCrunch, the breach is being traced back to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox. The database that contained 49 million records of a number of high-profile influencers has been found to be leaked online. We should mention that these influencers include food bloggers, celebrities, and other people with a high number of followers on the photo-sharing app.
The report has added that “Each record contained public data, including bio, profile picture, number of followers they have, location and private contact information.”
In addition to this, it also said, “Shortly after we reached out, Chtrbox pulled the database offline.”
TechCrunch was alerted by security researcher Anurag Sen, who was the first one to discover that the database has been leaked online.
The report said, “We traced the database back to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox, which pays influencers to post sponsored content on their accounts.”
We should mention that this is not the first time when an Instagram security breach has been reported. In April this year, Facebook had said that it stored millions of passwords of Instagram users as plain text, and this, in turn, left these passwords exposed to people who had access to a certain internal system.
It is also worth adding that the lapse in security initially came to light in March this year. However, at that time, Facebook said that it only happened to “tens of thousands of Instagram users”. However, in April, the company gave a revised number of “millions”.
Facebook said that the security issue was not only limited to Instagram but also affected hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users. “Tens of millions” of other users of its native platform were also impacted.
For those unaware, technology companies are supposed to store passwords in an encrypted format. This enables websites to confirm that the user is entering the correct password without actually reading it. Facebook has been embroiled in one data breach after the other since 2018. The most massive one among these was the Cambridge Analytica breach, which was one among the first major breaches on the company’s part that came to light.