A massive trove of data containing contact information of more than 49 million Instagram influencers and celebrities has surfaced online. As reported by TechCrunch, the database existed on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and was not encrypted or protected by password, making the details visible to anyone.
The database that was discovered by security analyst Anurag Sen was growing by the hour and at the time of reporting, contact details of some 49 million accounts were visible. Apart from personal contact number, details like email address, bio, profile picture, whether the account is verified or not, number of followers and location including city and country were exposed.
In an effort to find the leaker behind this invaluable data, it was discovered that the database belongs to Chtrbox, a Mumbai-based social media marketing company. The company pays celebrities and influencers to share sponsored posts.
The database had information of many popular food bloggers, celebrities and Instagram influencers. When TechCrunch contacted the celebrities who were part of the leaked database, they denied any association with Chtrbox.
Facebook, the company that owns Instagram, has issued an official statement about the matter:
“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.”
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The database has now been pulled offline by Chtrbox, but it is still unclear how the company managed to grab hold of private contact information of celebrities.