Facebook launches investigation into massive Instagram data breach

Facebook launches investigation into massive Instagram data breach

Instagram parent company Facebook has opened an investigation after the personal information belonging to almost 50 million accounts were shared online. 

The leak was found by security researcher Anurag Sen and traced back to Mumbai-based influencer marketing company Chtrbox. The database included the account information and contact details of many high profile influencers.

“We're looking into the issue to understand if the data described - including email and phone numbers - was from Instagram or from other sources," Facebook said in a statement.

"We're also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available.”

Speaking to the Economic Times, Chtrbox said it had become aware that a particular database had become exposed by accident for around 72 hours. The company claims that no sensitive data was available via the database.

"We would also like to affirm that no personal data has been sourced through unethical means by Chtrbox," a spokesperson for the company told ET.

"Our database is for internal research use only, we have never sold individual data or our database, and we have never purchased hacked-data resulting from social media platform breaches.

"Our use of our database is limited to help our team connect with the right influencers to support influencers to monetise their online presence, and help brands create great content."


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.