The Instagram tool, which allows users to download a copy of their data from the social media platform, had a security flaw that accidentally leaks passwords into plain text.
In April, Facebook's Instagram launched a data capture tool that sends users a file containing all the pictures, comments, and other information shared on the platform. This feature has evolved to comply with the new data privacy laws in Europe and to address users' privacy problems around the world amid the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Unfortunately, the "Get Your Data" tool contained a security issue that also sent plain text passwords to users in the URL "The information reported". In addition, for some reason, passwords were also saved on Facebook servers, although they have been deleted since then.
The security issue of the "Download Your Data" tool, which has already been corrected, only affected "a small number of people," a spokesman for The Information said. However, these users may have been exposed to Instagram passwords if they were using a shared computer or were in a compromised network. If they use the same passcode on other sites or applications, then the security issue becomes a bigger problem.
Instagram sent alerts to users affected by the vulnerability, so those who were not contacted should not be worried about the violation of their account passwords. However, for all Instagram users who have recently used the Get Your Data tool, changing your password or enabling two-factor authentication would not be a good thing to be sure.
The recently exposed bug follows Instagram's strange inertia in August, which disabled users from the platform because they changed their account information, especially their password, mobile number and email address. In many cases, emails associated with account compromises have changed to Russian emails. However, the accounts did not share new images or deleted old ones.
Instagram hacks come in different formats and users will need to perform specific actions to recover their Instagram accounts. Here's a guide to what to do if you suddenly find yourself a victim of Instagram hacks, so you can get your account back.