wnol.info July 23 2018

Hackers claim to be selling millions of Instagram users' contact details

July 23 2018, 05:53 | Alexander Lowe

Hackers claim to be selling millions of Instagram users' contact details

Hackers claim to be selling millions of Instagram users' contact details

A seller on the darknet was able to harvest the email addresses and phone numbers of up to 500 celebrities by way of a bug in the popular photo-focused social network.

On Aug. 30, the social networking app sent an email to its "verified" or high-profile users, including celebrities, politicians, journalists, and other personalities with a good number of followers.

"We quickly fixed the bug, and have been working with law enforcement on the matter". A hacker supposedly accessed United States model Blac Chyna's Instagram account and published private messages showing she had left Rob Kardashian.

According to security professionals, this vital information can be used to cross reference other data found on the web, especially celebrities who live under public scrutiny.

However, it appears that the breach affected more than just a few high-profile accounts. Although we can not determine which specific accounts may have been impacted, we believe it was a low percentage of Instagram accounts.

Instagram initially confirmed a bug on Wednesday that left users' personal data vulnerable, but it wasn't clear how many people were affected.

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The hacker, or group of hackers, also exchanged users' private information for cryptocurrency payments on the dark web.

And last August security firm ZeroFOX warned a huge number of financial scams were targeting Instagram account holders.

"As always, we encourage people to be vigilant about the security of their account and exercise caution if they encounter any suspicious activity such as unrecognized incoming calls, texts and emails", the spokesperson said. Additionally, we're encouraging you to report any unusual activity through our reporting tools. The hackers put the information up for sale on a platform called Doxagram, which has since been taken down.

"Your experience on Instagram is important to us, and we are sorry this happened", the company wrote. Kaspersky said hackers looking to exploit the flaw would have had to do it manually, as Instagram's protection prevented automated scraping.

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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