It is said a picture speaks a thousand words, but for Instagram, it speaks 6 million. The app has been one of the global heavyweights since its launch 7 years ago, but the amateur photography service has suffered a major blow after it was hit with a cyber-attack last week.
At first, it seemed only high-profile and celebrity users, such as pop star Selena Gomez were affected by the attack. But it has since emerged that more than 6 million accounts might have been compromised and that information is now for sale.
The as-yet unidentified hackers have surfaced on the DoxAGram site, where they are now selling the stolen data at a bargain basement price of $10. A Twitter account has also been set up, offering customers the chance to “Contact your most loved celebrities by phone or email. ONLY $10.”
In a blog post penned on Friday, Instagram CTO Mike Krieger confirmed that a bug in Instagram’s code had been successfully exploited by hackers. According to Krieger, users’ email addresses and phone numbers were compromised in the attack, even if they were not made public. No passwords were compromised in the incident however.
Krieger said: “We quickly fixed the bug, and have been working with law enforcement on the matter. Although we cannot determine which specific accounts may have been impacted, we believe it was a low percentage of Instagram accounts.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we encourage you to be vigilant about the security of your account, and exercise caution if you observe any suspicious activity such as unrecognised incoming calls, texts, or emails.”