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Hackers changing Instagram accounts ‘to push porn’

Hackers changing Instagram accounts ‘to push porn’
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Online spammers have been altering accounts of Instagram users to promote online adult websites, an online audit report has revealed.

Technology security company Symantec says that Instagram accounts were being hacked and flooded with pornographic or lewd images, which are being used to promote adult dating sites.

The profile images of hacked accounts is usually modified to depict women in skimpy, or no clothing, regardless of the gender of the account’s owner, according to the tech security company’s report on the popular photo sharing service, Instagram.

Explaining the traits of a hacked accounts, Symantec says it discovered modified user name, different profile image, different profile full name, different profile bio, Profile link changed or added and new photos uploaded as features of a hacked account.

According to the company, the profile instructs the user to visit the profile link, which is either a shortened URL or a direct link to the destination site. The profile image is changed to a photograph of a woman, regardless of the gender of the actual account owner.

Instagram Logo
Instagram Logo

”In addition to modifying the profile information, attackers upload photographs, which are often sexually suggestive. They do not delete any images uploaded by the account owner

The attackers also change the passwords for the breached accounts, which is how the original account owners may learn of the compromise. Even after a few months, these accounts remain in the same state, indicating that the real owners may have created new accounts since”, Symantec says.

The tech security company suspects that these traits could have been the result of weak password. “While we do not know how these accounts were compromised, we suspect that weak passwords and password reuse are the cause, especially since over 600 million passwords have surfaced in 2016 from breaches affecting other sites.”

The security company however suggests that Instagram user should enable two-factor authentication as the company had began rolling out the service to its users.

The two-factor authentication is an account security feature that would prevent the scammers in this campaign from taking over accounts. However, not all Instagram users have this feature available to them. Users can check to see if the option is accessible by tapping the wheel icon on their Instagram profile, the tech security company says.

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Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

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