INSTAGRAM Data Breach left High Profile user’s Contact info exposed

20 Sep 2017
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The hackers didnt leave Instagram too. The Breachers stole contact info of High-Profile users.

The cause of the hack, as we believe, might be due to its popularity and its global network which is increasing everyday.

We all know that Instagram is a fast growing online community of more than 600 million active users capturing (both pictures and videos) and sharing their moments, either publicly or privately, with the rest of the world.

In recent times, Instagram has made its user base to 700 million actives, in short span of years energized by web-sign, android phones and stories. The last 100 million users were added in just four months.

The growth rate of Facebook owned company is rapidly speeding up.



Having a motive of affecting their growth and hampering their reputation, the hackers gained access, to the contact information of high profile users, through a security breach.

The company made a note on security breach by stating that they recently found a bug that could possibly be used to access some user’s email information and contact numbers even if they were private.

No Password and other Instagram activities were revealed.



Adding more to the fact, earlier this month, Instagram’s most followed person’s account was hacked.

Yes, We are talking about Selena Gomez, a singer and an actress.

The hackers had posted, Justin Bieber’s many full-frontal naked pictures in her account. He is Selena’s ex-boyfriend and a singer by profession.

This posting of pictures was done for quite a short period of time before the company actually noticed it.



Now, Instagram is giving a red alert warning to the “high-profile users” that a hacker uncovered a bug and was able to access their personal data.

It is uncertain, if the hack just happened and Selena’s account was one among them or if she was part of the plan to he hacked.



The below statement was issued by Instagram:

“We recently discovered that one or more individuals obtained unlawful access to a number of high-profile Instagram users’ contact information — specifically email address and phone number — by exploiting a bug in an Instagram API,”

Meanwhile, the company added that it had quickly fixed the bug through which the intrusion took place and have been dealing with the law enforcement.

It added that “they cannot determine which particular accounts, may have been impacted“, in a very generic way, thereby not mentioning or commenting on the users, whose accounts were exposed.


A Demographic on Instagram:

gives information about the percentage of people using Instagram among the Internet users.



Near about 6 million Instagram accounts were hacked.

Doxagram is an online database, (dark data) that have been selling personal contact information of famous celebrities.

For $10, it sold private information of the top celebrities and it made use of Instagram, for those information.



According to UK cyber-security company, Repknight, who were able to identify the list of Instagram high profiles that were compromised, said that there have found 500 A list celebrities and High profile brands.

Following are the Popular celebrities, Musicians, Singers, Athletes, whose contact information were exposed during this attack:

  • Actors: Emma Watson, Leonardo Di Caprio, Channing Tatum, Zac Efron, Emilia Clarke.
  • Musicians: Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Adele, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Victoria Beckam, Ellie Goulding, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Beyonce,
  • Athletes: Sachin Tendulkar, David Beckham,Virat Kohli, Ronaldinho, Floyd Mayweather, Zinedine Zidane.

An Instagram account run by the social media group of the White House for the President of US was also reported to be one among the hack attacks.

Television model Kim Kardashian and her sisters Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian were all on the database of the exposed list.

May be the hackers aim at selling the data of High-Profile users for money. But once the bad guys have privy to that information, they can launch phishing attacks at any moment.

Instagram mobile application had an issue in the reset password option which made to expose the contact numbers and email addresses but not the passwords. This threat existed in Instagram’s 2016 version. So, those users with their accounts up-to-date should be safe.


Shield yourself on Instagram

Instagram has been advicing their users officially on what has to be done if their account has been hit.

The exact statement said on a security note:

“Out of an abundance of caution, we encourage you to be vigilant about the security of your account, and exercise caution if you observe any suspicious activity such as unrecognized incoming calls, texts, or emails”.

NOW WATCH : 5 tips to help you stay safe on Instagram


In addition to that advice given by the official note, they also encourage the users to report about any unusual activity happening, through a reporting tool.

The users can make use of those tools by tapping the “…” menu from their profile, and then by choosing ‘Report a Problem’ and then by choosing ‘Spam or Abuse’.

Its good information that Instagram has got a page which gives advice to the users on how to manage their accounts and being safe from such threats.

The moment the users think that their account have been hacked, they should change their password immediately or send an reset password email by themselves.

For added protection, the users were also suggested about how to turn on Two-factor authentication on their accounts.


How to turn on two-factor protection on Instagram



  • Click the settings tab found in the right top of your profile.
  • In the options you will see “Two-Factor Authentication”
  • Then click “Require Security Code”
  • It will pop up saying “Phone number required, To turn this On, you need to add a phone number to your account”.
  • A code will be sent to your mobile phone each and every time you try logging in your account.
NOW WATCH: How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication



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