This Instagram Hack Has Put Celebrities' Numbers Up for Sale

Audrey Hill
September 4, 2017

The hackers mainly targeted celebrities and verified users, including Selena Gomez, who's account was hacked two days ago.

There are many different types of phishing schemes, the most popular is done by sending an email where the hacker will ask for the user's login credentials while pretending to be someone or something else.

At first, the bug was believed to only affect verified accounts or at least this is what Instagram official stated.

The bug is said to be capable of obtaining users' private details such as email address and phone numbers.

Even if there is only a small percentage of users affected, considering there are 700 million active accounts there's still going to be a huge number of people affected.

The bug that was found in the Instagram API, allowed the hackers to use a glitch to access a set of codes that apparently contained the phone numbers and email addresses of the accounts.

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Celebrity musicians whose contact details were also identified include Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding, Victoria Beckham, Adele, Ellie Goulding, Snoop Dogg and Britney Spears. If you've been hacked and someone's posted your contact details on a site that Google can not reach, you're highly unlikely to ever understand the severity of that hack. The company, in a blog post confirmed that no passwords or any other information was revealed.

Instagram now has over 700 million accounts and while the 6 million allegedly stolen is a small percentage of that amount, it is still a huge number.

Instagram said it quickly fixed the bug and is now investigating the incident. She owns the most followed account on Instagram and this obviously made her a huge target. Numerous emails were also not included in large scale data breaches, such as LinkedIn, according to breach notification site Have I Been Pwned?, implying that the hackers may not have simply dug up records from previous, publicized security incidents.

"Your experience on Instagram is important to us, and we are sorry this happened", the company wrote.

Regardless of whether the site selling the information is gone for good, the hackers still have direct contact information for several high-profile accounts and may still be selling in some other way.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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