Some of the world’s most high-profile Instagram users are nervously waiting to see if their private pictures and messages have been accessed in the “Doxagram” hack.
Pop star Selena Gomez’s account was accessed by the hackers this week. They posted nude photos of her ex, Justin Bieber, on her account.
The posting of the pictures appears to have been a stunt to draw attention to the hack rather than the fruits of the hack itself, as the pictures of Bieber were already in the public domain.
Now, however, comes the more worrying possibility that other intimate images may have been accessed.
Joseph Cox of The Daily Beast reported Thursday night that the hackers appear to have successfully extracted some Instagram users’ personal info, including email addresses and phone numbers, which they have now placed online at the Doxagram website, a hastily constructed, $10-a-pop searchable database.
Many of the targets and names listed are Instagram’s biggest stars. The hackers told Cox they set up their scraper to initially target all users with more than 1 million followers, and then recursively harvest other users.
Gomez is the world’s most-followed Instagram user with 126 million followers (up a million since Tuesday).
In all, the hackers claimed to The Daily Beast to have over 6 million accounts in their database, including politicians, sports stars, and media companies. The data also seems to contain information on more ordinary accounts, too, Cox reported.
Friday morning’s The Sun tabloid in the U.K. reported that stars such as Gomez were aware of the possibility of private photos and messages from their Instagram accounts being leaked next.
A source told The Sun: “Many of the biggest celebrities in the world will be very concerned about this.”
“Many use Instagram for chatting privately and swapping pics with friends. A lot will be hastily deleting things to stop anything embarrassing getting out in the hope that it’s not too late.”
On Wednesday, Instagram announced it had fixed the security issue the hackers say they took advantage of. It’s not entirely clear if the hack of Gomez’s account was due to the same issue.
The Instagram cyberattack follows a string of high-profile hacks on stars.
The images were widely copied and shared across the internet, much as images were after a series of hacks of iCloud accounts in 2014. That hack included actress Jennifer Lawrence among its victims.
Lawrence called the hacking and publication of her private images a “sex crime” in an interview with Vanity Fair, and the person ultimately found to be responsible, Ryan Collins, a Pennsylvania man, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
Collins used a phishing scheme to obtain the login credentials of at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts, most of which belonged to female celebrities, over a period of almost two years.
TMZ reported that the images of Woods and Vonn were hacked from Vonn’s phone.
They include images that Woods and the Olympic gold medalist skier sent to each other when they were in a relationship.
Woods, 41, and Vonn, 32, split in May 2015. It is not known whether the recent hacks are related.