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UNBELIEVABLE!! 6 Million Instagram Accounts Hacked.. See How To Protect Your Account

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UNBELIEVABLE!! 6 Million Instagram Accounts Hacked.. See How To Protect Your Account

Six million Instagram accounts have been exposed online after hackers
created a dark web database of personal information, revealing private
phone numbers and email addresses.

The scale of the hack on the photo-sharing site emerged after the Instagram
account of singer Selena Gomez was compromised last week. UK security
researchers discovered hundreds of contact details on the dark web of
celebrities including Emma Watson, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles.
In addition to leaking the details of hundreds of A-listers, hackers created
an online database where cyber criminals could access private user details
for $10 per search.


Instagram initially said a “low percentage” of accounts had been affected,
although the hackers claim they have details on as many as six million
users, the Daily Beast reported.

Instagram has since responded with its advice on how to protect accounts
and report suspicious activity.

Selena Gomez Justin Bieber hacked


The leak initially emerged after singer Selena Gomez’s account was hacked

The hackers, claiming to be Russian and calling themselves “Doxagram”,
advertised the account details on online forums with links to the dark web,
claiming “it is only $10 (price of 2 cups of coffee) for celebrity contact

One website linked to the hack has since been taken down, with Facebook,
which owns Instagram, purchasing domain names used by the hackers to
take them offline.

An official Instagram account for the President of the United States of
America, run by the White House social media team, was also reported to be
among the exposed details.

“We quickly fixed the bug, and have been working with law enforcement on
the matter,” said Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger. He added account
passwords had not been exposed by the security flaw.

UK cybersecurity company RepKnight identified 500 celebrity accounts that
had been compromised by the hack.

“While Instagram has now fixed the bug that lead to the leak, the cat is out
of the bag now, and those affected will have to take extra care to maintain
their privacy,” said RepKnight analyst Patrick Martin.



How was the data stolen?

The potential vulnerability on Instagram was found by researchers at
Kaspersky Labs and reported to Facebook.

A flaw in the password reset option in the Instagram mobile app exposed
mobile phone numbers and email addresses, but not passwords. The simple
attack involved sending a request for a password reset to an account and
intercepting the private phone and email details sent in response to the
security query.

The vulnerability existed in a 2016 version of Instagram, meaning those
with up-to-date accounts should be safe.


How to protect yourself on Instagram

Instagram has since offered its official advice on what to do if your account
has been affected. Instagram said users should exercise additional caution
if they receive any calls or emails from unknown or suspicious sources.

“Additionally, we’re encouraging you to report any unusual activity through
our reporting tools,” Instagram said. “You can access those tools by
tapping the “…” menu from your profile, selecting ‘Report a Problem’ and
then ‘Spam or Abuse.'”


Instagram has a page which offers users advice on how best to keep their
account protected and what to do if they think an account has been hacked.
Users should change their password or send themselves a password reset
email if they think they have been affected.

It also suggests users turn on two-factor authentication on their accounts
for added protection.

How to turn on two-factor protection on Instagram

Go to the settings tab in the top right corner of your profile

Scroll down and select “two-factor authentication”

Tap “require security code”

You will then need to add a phone number to your account

After this a code will be sent to your phone every time you try to log into
your account


While this can keep an account safe from hackers, the information taken
from Instagram included phone numbers, showing not all data is safe when
stored online, even if it is kept private.

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Posted by on September 4, 2017.

Categories: Technology

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