Instagram has yet to officially acknowledge the reports, but Mashable came out with a report Monday evening detailing a large uptick in Instagram account hacking across hundreds of accounts, presumably by Russian culprits.
In each of the cases, the hackers take control of the accounts, change the password, linked Facebook accounts, bios, profile images, and email accounts with a .ru (Russian domain) email address. Mashable reported, “According to data from analytics platform Talkwalker, there have been more than 5,000 tweets from 899 accounts mentioning Instagram hacks just in the last seven days. Many of these users have been desperately tweeting at Instagram’s Twitter account for help,” indicating that this problem is rather widespread. Of course, just the fact that a Russian domain email address was used does not necessarily mean the accounts were hacked by someone in Russia (there are hackers both sophisticated and not all over the world), but it is highly likely.
While the number of affected users is a drop in the bucket compared to Instagram’s more than 1 billion users, the number of hacked accounts likely reaches into the thousands given that this accounting only considers those who have complained on Twitter alone. Mashable reported, “On Twitter, there have been more than 100 of these types of anecdotal reports in the last 24 hours alone,” so the attacks still seem to be ongoing.
Many of the hacked accounts were not using two-factor authentication, although some reportedly were using the more stringent security measure. Regardless, it might be a good time to change your own passwords to something more secure and ensure you have two-factor authentication enabled. Instagram accounts are notoriously difficult to recover in these cases, leaving victims of this hacking with no choice but to start new accounts from scratch.
Lead image by Energepic.com via Pexels.
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