A huge database containing the contact information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts has been found online.
- The database, hosted by Amazon Web Services, was left exposed and without a password allowing anyone to look inside. At least 49 million records were allegedly vulnerable.
- Each data record contained public data from influencer Instagram accounts, bio details, profile picture, number of followers and the influencers city and country location.
- The data also contained personal contact information, such as the Instagram account owner’s email address and phone number.
A security researcher discovered the database. It was traced back to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox, which pays influencers to post sponsored content on their accounts.
- The records also contained data that calculated the worth of each account, based on the number of followers, engagement, reach, likes and shares they had.
- This was used as a metric to determine how much the company could pay an Instagram celebrity or influencer to post an ad.
Once the discovery was made Chtrbox pulled the database offline.
- Chtrbox disputed the number of people affected and claimed no more than Instagram 350,000 influencers were affected.
- Instagram also investigated and said it found that no private emails or phone numbers of Instagram users were accessed.
However, the issue is that a database containing so much important information was left unprotected on the internet.
It’s certainly not the first time, previous incidents have also potentially exposed millions of customer data records, and it certainly won’t be the last.
It’s also another instructive lesson why it’s difficult to trust all manner of organisations to safeguard our personal data. Despite the constant stream of hacks and data leaks, basic security measures are criminally overlooked.
BullGuard Premium Protection is an antidote to these predictably persistent and seriously dangerous errors, which could easily lead to identity theft. It protects your personal data, and your life, even if it is leaked onto the internet.
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