Millions of Instagram Users - including Hollywood Stars

Millions of Instagram Users - including Hollywood Stars

Millions of Instagram Users - including Hollywood Stars

Hackers are selling email and phone number data allegedly belonging to Instagram accounts that they say they scraped before the flaw was fixed.

This seems to be the same bug that led to the compromise of Selena Gomez's account which was used to post nudes of her ex-boyfriend and pop star Justin Bieber.

Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger in a blog post said that the company has fixed a "bug" that "could be used to access some people's email address and phone number even if they are not public".

Instagram claims to have already patched the bug, and has also notified all holders of verified accounts (celebrities were initially thought to be the primary target of the attack).

Instagram didn't give details of the bug, but said it related to its application programming interface, or API. We first saw news of the bug via The Verge. Fortunately, the hackers did not access any account passwords.

Nevertheless, contact info for hundreds of celebrities is now for sale on the darknet via a searchable database, at $10 per query, researchers from security company RepKnight discovered.

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The hackers also provided the Daily Beast with a sample of 1,000 records that includes a phone number, email, or both.

Until now, it had been believed that only "high-profile" verified accounts like Selena's had been affected, but it turns out that the breach extended even further. (If they do, you have bigger problems.) You can also change your username, if you want to go above and beyond to ensure that your information is safe. Additionally, we're encouraging you to report any unusual activity through our reporting tools.

But while high-profile hacks are a dime a dozen these days, what's staggering here is how easily the information was obtained: in essence, sending a password reset request from an old version of the Instagram app resulted in a response containing an account's private data (sans password, thankfully).

"We are very sorry this happened", Krieger added. One, average Instagram users may be at risk of hacking.

While Instagram hasn't revealed the specifics of the hack, or outlined any special steps for everyday users, there are still a few simple things to secure your account.

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