Indian Hacker Discovers a New Instagram Bug
Instagram has addressed a new flaw, which allows everyone to access private profiles without having to follow them and also lets them view archived posts and stories.
The Facebook group recently rewarded an Indian programmer and Bug Bounty Hunter with Rs 22 lakh to identify the Instagram bug that can permit anybody, without following, to view different posts on a private Instagram account. The issue that the programmer, Mayur Fartade, has just reported on a media post might’ve been a big privacy violation that leads to target identity fraud and harassment given the hazards posed by it. On April 15, 2021, this flaw was notified to Instagram and now it is patched.
The flaw might have enabled hackers or those intending to cyber spy – to target particular users’ posts and gain access without having to follow their private account, according to Fartade.
Fartade noted in his post that the high privileges which attackers may have gained would be utilized for looking at elements like “private/archived posts, stories, reels (and) IGTV, details including like/comment/save count, display_url, image. uri, Facebook linked page(if any) and other particulars, without following the user and by using Media ID”.
The flaw may allow any brute person to force a “Media ID” post which is an ID for any post created on Instagram and then use it to regenerate legitimate links to archived posts and private posts. For this purpose, attackers can use the Instagram GraphQL tool on their developer library, input any targeted post’s brute-forced media ID, and execute the tool to gain access to information such as the post link and other related details.
This issue might have revealed numerous sensitive facts and surely breached privacy, as non-followers having access to content on a private account could result in many untoward occurrences including identity theft, challenges, or harassment.
Facebook in its letter to Fartade thanked him for his report: “After reviewing this issue, we have decided to award you a bounty of $30000. Below is an explanation of the bounty amount. Facebook fulfills its bounty awards through Bugcrowd and HackerOne. Your report highlighted a scenario that could have allowed a malicious user to view targeted media on Instagram. This scenario would require the attacker to know the specific media ID. We have fixed this issue. Thank you again for your report. We look forward to receiving more reports from you in the future,” the company said.