Instagram, a platform for the publication and exchange of photo and video content, is engaged in clarifying the circumstances under which about 50 million user contact data were made publicly available in an unprotected database.
TechCrunch, which published a report on this information, said that the data, merged into the network, contain phone numbers, e-mail and even the location of users who are considered influential persons.
In the course of the investigation, it was found that the database has a beginning in Mumbai and is associated with the company Chtrbox. Now, Facebook, the official owner of Instagram, is making efforts to find out the user data leak source. The company said that it is engaged in a detailed study of the problem, generating information from where declassified data was taken – directly from Instagram or from third sources. Also, Facebook is asking Chtrbox for a story about where the data came from and why it was publicly available.
The sensational database was stored on the Amazon server, but for some unknown reason, it had no protection. This information was discovered by an Indian researcher, who told about this TechCrunch.
As soon as this information was made public, the marketing company Chtrbox closed the database. It also stated that the TechCrunch report had inaccuracies, as the information contained in the database did not have any confidential info, except that one, which was available for public use or was specified by the account owner. The company insisted that the database was randomly disclosed and was in the public domain no more than 72 hours. In addition, Chtrbox noted that it was not engaged in the purchase of information that could be the result of unethical actions, including hacking. Anyway, this case reminds that any actions related to collecting or scraping information from Instagram accounts are in direct violation of the site’s policy.