Instagram hack: Users become victims of a strange account locking hack
In a widespread Instagram hacking campaign, hundreds of users are reporting that their accounts have been compromised. Besides losing access to the Instagram account, the profile image, email address, phone number, and bios related to the accounts of the affected users have been changed too.
Instagram Users Reporting Strange Hacks
Instagram users have been reporting of the bizarre hack since the beginning of August. Users are reporting that they are getting ‘logged out’ of their account, and if they try to log in again, it shows that their username no longer exist. The affected users also found hackers had altered their profile info and changed contact details.
Many of them saw their profile pictures typically set to a Disney or Pixar character with the new email addresses switching to a Russian .ru email address. Also, their bios and personal information have been deleted.
“My account has been hacked! Username, email, and password have been changed. Now someone called Laitus Maria has all my pics,” one Instagram user complained. While another disgruntled user tweeted:
— Oli (@Oliver_Nicolai) August 15, 2018
Instagram responds to the widespread hack
The company wrote, “If you received an email from us notifying you of a change in your email address, and you did not initiate this change, please click the link marked ‘revert this change’ in the email, and then change your password. We advise you pick a strong password.”
Instagram also shared the following safety measures to avoid falling victim to similar hacks:
- Use a strong password—at least six numbers, letters, and symbols—different from those used elsewhere on the web.
- Revoke access to suspicious third-party applications.
- Activate two-factor authentication (2FA).
Instagram added, “We have dedicated teams helping people to secure their accounts. If you have reached out to us about your account, you will hear back from our team soon.”
While the motive behind the attacks on Instagram is still unknown, the use of .ru email addresses indicates that the source may be from Russia or perhaps threat actors pretending to be from the country.
Instagram is currently dependent on text messages for two-factor authentication (2FA), which is believed to be less secure than other app-based 2FA methods. However, the company says that it is working on improving its 2FA settings.
We recommend you to visit the Instagram Help Centre dedicated to hacked accounts for more information. Keep watching this space for more updates!
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Gurupriyan is a Software Engineer and a technology enthusiast, he’s been working on the field for the last 6 years. Currently focusing on mobile app development and IoT.