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Instagram data breach: Mumbai based firm leaks private data of social media influencers

BusinessToday.In     May 22, 2019

Another day, another breach in Facebook's paradise. This time it's the Facebook owned photo-sharing site, Instagram. The site is in news for exposing the personal data including contact information of social media influencers online. The data was found exposed on the AWS (Amazon Web Services) server without a password.

The data of nearly 5 crore Instagram influencers that included celebrities, influencers, and brands has been traced to a Mumbai-based company called Chtrbox, a social media influencer marketing agency. The leak contained both public and private information of the users. The leak was first shared with TechCrunch by a cybersecurity researcher.

The database was traced back to the Mumbai based Chtrbox. According to TechCrunch, each record in the database contained a record that calculated the worth of each account, based off the number of followers, engagement, reach, likes and shares they had. The record was used as a metric to determine how much the company could pay an Instagram celebrity or influencer to post an ad.

Chtrbox has called the reports incorrect and added that it had never purchased any data via "unethical means". In a statement, the firm said reports were "inaccurate". A particular database for limited influencers was inadvertently exposed for approximately 72 hours. This database did not include any sensitive personal data and only contained information available from the public domain, or self-reported by influencers."

On the other hand, Facebook is looking into the matter and is trying to figure out the exact cause of the breach. "We're looking into the issue to understand if the data described - including email and phone numbers - was from Instagram or from other sources. We're also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available," it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, if you are not an Instagram influencer then you should not worry as the data leak occurred via Chtrbox and not on Instagram servers. Even so, as per the policies of Instagram, gathering any information from the Instagram accounts - Public or Private- violates the policies of the social media site.

Edited By: Udit Verma

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