An Instagram Hack affected millions of accounts, exposed personal info

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A new Instagram bug happens to be another addition in the number of cyber attacks of 2017. Unfortunately, the bug, before getting caught, was exploited by hackers in scraping the personal contact data of millions of Instagram accounts, distressing people as well as the management of one of the biggest social media apps.

It all started when the most followed account of Instagram, Selena Gomez’s was hacked through the bug this week and hackers posted nudes of Justin Bieber which were visible to all the Selena followers for few minutes until it was taken down by authorities.

Although the account came back alive after removing Justin’s pictures but the screenshots taken by fans were found to be circulating around, creating sudden hype.

Before Instagram could completely take the bug off, hackers hit the app with greater margin, affected millions of accounts, stealing the contact information of many verified as well as the non-verified members.

Hackers used the bug to obtain the contact numbers and other personal identity information of famous celebrities accounts like Emma Watson, Taylor Swift, Leonardo DiCaprio, Emilia Clarke, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Harry Styles etc. The infected list also includes football players like Ronaldinho, Neymar, David Beckham and many other big names.

The bug made Instagram security vulnerable to cyber threats; allowed hackers to break into the contact details of high profile accounts. Hackers are believed to have tried the bug on Selena’s account first, and then later dispersed it across the Insta network, affecting an enormous number of account holders, celebrities or not.

After getting their hands on the private data, Hackers established a searchable online platform and named it after instagram, “Doxagram” where they uploaded all the stolen contact details of victims and allowed internet users to have it in $10 per search.

According to Daily Beast, Hackers filled Doxagram with info of exact 1000 accounts, 50 of which were Insta’s highest followed accounts. As reported by The Verge, the Instagram said that out of 700 million active users, Hackers claim to have the record of around 6 million accounts. However, users’ passwords aren’t exposed by the hackers, only the contact information is out.

– This story was originally published on The Verge

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