The following is an excerpt from Selena Larson | August 30, 2017 | CNN.com |
Instagram is alerting high-profile users that someone could have accessed their phone number and email address through a bug in its software.
In an email sent to verified users on Wednesday, Instagram said that no account passwords were accessed, and the bug has been fixed. It is reminding those people to use two-factor authentication and unique passwords to protect their accounts.
"We recently discovered that one or more individuals obtained unlawful access to a number of high-profile Instagram users' contact information -- specifically email address and phone number— by exploiting a bug in an Instagram API," an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Tech.
"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."
Instagram declined to say how many people had been targeted, and declined to comment on individual accounts.
Earlier this week, entertainer Selena Gomez's Instagram account got hacked. Old photos of ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber were posted on her account.
Phone numbers and emails are important personal identifiers, and potential hackers can find out a lot of information about people by investigating them.
"With an email address and a telephone number, it's not difficult to cross reference information online to find out more about a target, even a celebrity," said privacy expert Jessy Irwin.
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