The most popular site in the world for posting photos is Instagram. It is owned by the social media giant Facebook. A problem was discovered recently when a hacker found out that sensitive user info can be easily accessed through a bug in the site. The phone numbers and other personal info of millions of Instagram users is not being properly protected. Facebook was told about the problem and they are working to correct it. A writer from the Forbes site had a computer expert try to exploit the vulnerability of Instagram to get his personal info. The computer expert was able to get the requested info that was supposed to be protected.
This is shaping up to be another very big and serious black eye for Facebook. They have already had a few other scandals that involved their inability to protect user data effectively. This is literally the last thing they need to happen right now. Instagram and Facebook have a program that allows people to earn a bounty if they discover a bug that the company was not aware of. This is why the hacker was trying to find out if there was anything wrong with the Instagram site.
Facebook has said that they have solved the issue and the user data that was previously exposed is now being protected again. It remains to be seen if this is the case. The hacker who informed Facebook of the problem said the company took its sweet time fixing it. Therefore, there is no telling if any of the user data has been grabbed by criminals so they can steal identities. There have been no reported cases of the data from Instagram turning up on the dark web. However, it can sometimes take a long time for hackers to use the data they have illegally harvested.
The problem seems to be solved for right now. Facebook has said that they will keep a very close eye on the vulnerability to make sure that it will not be exploited by hackers in the future. However, that should not instill users with a great deal of confidence because Facebook should have discovered the problem on their own. Instead, they needed a hacker to tell them about it. That is not exactly a ringing endorsement for the technical staff at Facebook. It will be interesting to see if this same problem pops up again.