Instagram is addressing security concerns two days after its most followed user, Selena Gomez, was hacked. The company announced that an Instagram bug allowed one or more individuals to get hold of high-profile accounts.
On Monday, naked photos of Justin Bieber appeared on Gomez’s page for all of her 125 million followers to see. The shots of Bieber, 23, that were posted were not private photos, but were paparazzi shots of him on vacation in Bora Bora in 2015.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “No account passwords were accessed. We fixed the bug swiftly and are running a thorough investigation.”
The statement continued, “Our main concern is for the safety of our community and, out of an abundance of caution, we are reaching out to all verified accounts. At this point we believe this effort was targeted at high-profile users. We encourage you to be extra vigilant about the security of your account and exercise caution if you encounter any suspicious activity such as unrecognized incoming calls, texts and emails.”
Instagram encourages ensuring that a two-factor authentication is enabled and stresses the importance of a strong password.
“Your experience on Instagram is important to us, and we are sorry this happened,” the company concluded.
Promptly after the photos of Selena’s ex-boyfriend were posted, her page was deactivated and the photos removed. Last year Gomez, now 25, became the most followed person on Instagram.
Selena — who is currently dating the Weeknd — revealed to Vogue that she doesn’t even know her Instagram password and that her assistant has control of her account. Yes, Instagram fatigue is a real thing, even for a superstar.
“As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” she explained to the magazine in April. “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like s*** when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit.”
Bieber has yet to respond to the incident, but at the time the photos were taken, he had mixed feelings about what he felt was an invasion of privacy.
“My first thing was like, how can they do this?” he told Access Hollywood. “Like, I feel super violated. Like, I feel like I can’t step outside and feel like I can go outside naked.”
A month later he was more lighthearted, telling Ellen DeGeneres, “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna be.”
Hopefully, the Biebs still feels the same way.
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