Instagram influencer data taken offline after exposure

CNET | 5/21/2019 | Laura Hautala
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Account data for 49 million Instagram users has been exposed online.

Instagram influencers make their lives public. Now an exposed database appears to have added to the information available about them.

Account - Data - Instagram - Users - Influencers

Account data for 49 million Instagram users, including influencers and brand accounts, was exposed online, according to a report by TechCrunch. The records, which an independent researcher found had been publicly viewable since at least May 14, included public data that seemed to be scraped from Instagram users' profiles, as well as private data like phone numbers and email addresses.

The database belonged to Chtrbox, an Indian marketing company that links influencers to brands that want to advertise their wares.

Cybersecurity - Researcher - Anurag - Sen - Data

Independent cybersecurity researcher Anurag Sen found the data on the Shodan search engine, which indexes internet connected devices and servers. Sen said the database is no longer visible to the public. It's one more exposure of an inadequately secured cloud database -- a problem that's grown bigger as more and more companies put sensitive data on cloud servers without the expertise needed to lock the data down. Researchers around the world search for exposed databases and try to get companies to secure them, such as a cache of demographic information on 80 million US households removed in April.

Chtrbox said in a statement that the database was exposed for 72 hours, and the data wasn't private. "This database did not include any sensitive personal data and only contained information available from the public domain, or self reported by influencers," the company said.

Data - Use - Chtrbox - Statement - Data

The data is for internal use only, and isn't sold, Chtrbox said in its statement, adding that the data doesn't come from hackers or data breaches. The company didn't respond to a follow-up question on whether it scrapes public...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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