A bug in Instagram’s software let cyber-attackers have access to celebrities personal information, in addition to email addresses and phone numbers.
The social network, which has more than 700 million monthly active users, asserted it was hacked by cyber-attackers, exposing the contact information of certain well-known figures, reportedly a BBC report. The- company did not say who was hacked or how many of its users were hacked.
Instagram asserted passwords were not compromised, yet did note in that Instagrammers should be wary of activity on their account. Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion in cash and stock.
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While the hack is unlikely to injure Instagram’s attractiveness to celebrities in the interim, it does put a negative light on the service, analysts say.
“Assuming it caught the issue shortly after the breach was discovered, the fallout shouldnâ€™t be too bad, especially 'cause it wonâ€™t affect the vast majority if Instagramâ€™s hundreds of millions of users, yet itâ€™s still a major black eye for the service, which has large followings for its celebrity users,” Jackdaw Research chief analyst Jan Dawson asserted in comments obtained by Fox News.
The hack was the fault of Instagram’s application programming interface (API), which has since been fixed.
â€œWe recently discovered in that one or more individuals obtained unlawful access to a number of high-profile Instagram usersâ€™ contact information â€“ specifically email address and phone numberâ€” by exploiting a bug in an Instagram API,” an Instagram spokesman told Fox News. “No account passwords were exposed. We fixed the bug swiftly and are running a thorough investigation.”
Earlier this week it emerged in that that Selena Gomez’s Instagram account had been hacked. The- account, which has more than 125 million Instagram followers, posted nude photos of her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. It’s unclear if Gomez’s hack is related to the broader hack or was a separate attack.Â
The account was taken down and restored, with the nude photos deleted.
The photo-centric social network has moreover been in the spotlight recently after Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin responded to a negative comment on her feed.
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In a photo, Linton tagged some of the designers she was wearing and in response, one user wrote: â€œGlad we could pay for your little getaway,â€� in addition to the hashtag â€œdeplorable.â€�
Linton responded by saying: â€œDo you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country.”
â€œIâ€™m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day â€˜tripâ€™ than you did,â€� she continued. â€œPretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than youâ€™d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.â€�
Linton has since made her account private.
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @chris_ciaccia
This tale has-been updated to contain Instagram’s response and comments from Dawson.