Influencer marketing firm Chtrbox said it was cooperating with the parent of Instagram, Facebook, to explain a temporary exposure of data to the photo-sharing app’s users.
The Mumbai-based firm denied any breach from its side on Facebook or Instagram, and said the details it was alleged to have leaked were “public” and that the number of accounts involved was “in the early thousands” and not in millions as some reports suggested. Chtrbox was in news after reports indicated it leaked private data of about 49 million Instagram influencers and celebrities.
“In our over three years of operations, we’ve never evaluated public data of over 350,000 social media users. So, claims that Chtrbox is responsible for leaking information of millions of influencers or users are downright impossible and entirely false,” Pranay Swarup, chief executive of Chtrbox, told ET.
News website TechCrunch was the first to report on Monday that the database on Facebook’s photosharing platform, hosted by Amazon Web Services, was found online by a security researcher, left exposed and without a password. It had over 49 million records of Instagram users and was traced back to Chtrbox, the website said.
“We’re in the process of an extensive internal audit, but in a nutshell, this was a minor yet critical gap in a data migration process,” Swarup said. “For a few hours, a fraction of our database was exposed. However, this was made secure as soon as it was identified by the security researcher. We are taking the help of data experts to further bulletproof our processes.”
He said the database in question was a secondary one containing only public data that helped the company’s internal team discover influencers. “The database did not include any private details, authorisation information, passwords, or any other sensitive data,” Swarup said.
Chtrbox, which was founded in 2016 and counts Flipkart and Oyo among its clients, said on Tuesday a database for a limited number of influencers was inadvertently exposed for about 72 hours.
“We have informed our community on the inaccuracy of the media reports, and are addressing concerns, if any, on a case-to-case basis. We will also be making further announcements to our community over the next few days. We have also informed them about how inaccurate the numbers are as per the initial media stories,” Swarup said.
Source: Economic Times