Instagram Hack Bigger Than Initially Thought: Hackers Are Selling Contact Information Of 6 Million Accounts At $10 Per Query
Earlier this week hackers exploited a bug on Instagram to get phone numbers and email addresses belonging to 6 million accounts. The company first said that the hack had affected only verified users, but it has now confirmed that non-verified users had been affected as well.
This was the same bug responsible for Selena Gomez's Instagram account being hacked, it appears. Hackers used the glitch to start publishing nude photos of Gomez's ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.
Hacked Instagram Accounts Include Celebrities, Media Personalities, And More
The Daily Beast published a list Aug. 31 containing 1,000 names of celebrities and high-profile figures that were affected by the hack. Instagram remains mum about the exact number of affected accounts, but it did say they only make up a "low percentage of Instagram accounts."
The Facebook-owned social photo-sharing platform currently has more than 700 million accounts and 6 million is no laughing matter, especially if the most popular users are included in that figure — which they are, in fact. The list includes 50 of the most followed accounts on the photo-sharing service, perhaps more.
Shortly after news of the hack came about, the hackers created a searchable database called Doxagram that let interested parties search for specific contact information at $10 per query.
As of Friday evening, Sept. 1, Doxagram was offline. It remains uncertain if and when it'll go active again. Instagram has yet to confirm whether it's pursuing to shut the site down.
The damage has been done, and even if the site is struck down — which is the likely end scenario here — phone numbers and email addresses belonging to several celebrities have already been uploaded to the dark web. As The Verge reports, cybersecurity firm RepKnight said it discovered what's allegedly contact information of celebrities such as Emilia Clarke, Lady Gaga, Floyd Mayweather, Snoop Dogg, and many others.
Celebrities might have to change their phone number and email address altogether as a recourse. However, the hack could lend itself to more dangerous deeds, as was the case with Gomez's hacked account posting private and explicit photos of Bieber.
What Instagram Is Doing About The Hack
It's currently working with law enforcement to prevent further sale of contact information, Instagram said. But the incident clearly shows that Instagram is in need of a hefty retooling of its security system.
"The safety and security of our community are important to us, and we are very sorry this happened," said Instagram CTO Mike Krieger.
Has your Instagram been hacked? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!