Instagram Hack

Hackers gain targets high-profile or social media influencers Instagram accounts with phishing links and gain access to the accounts before the influencers even know what’s happening.

Based on the Trend Micro’s report the hackers target the Instagram profiles that have followers between 15,000 and 70,000 were hacked and targets range from famous actors and singers to owners of startup businesses like photoshoot equipment rentals.

Instagram Hack – Attack Chain

The attack starts with the Phishing Email that appears to be from Instagram asking the victim to verify the account to get the Verified badge on the Instagram profile.

If the victim clicks on the Verify Account button then it takes the victim to the phishing page that asks for the following user details such as date of birth, email, and credentials.

Instagram Hack

“Once submitted, a badge notification appears, but for only four seconds. This is a trick to give users the impression that their profile has been verified”, reads Trend Micro blog post. But the reality is that the hackers exfiltrate the credentials.

Instagram Hack

As the user enters the credentials in the phishing page attackers get access to the credentials and by using the stolen credentials they gain access to the Instagram profiles and modify the information that requires to recover the stolen account.

Attackers use to change the username of the stolen address to indicate it is hacked and use to change the email address, again and again, to trick victim’s with security emails asking the changes were legitimate.

Researcher spotted a specific instant in which the hacker, “threatening to delete the account or never return the stolen profile unless the victim pays a ransom or sends nude photos or videos.”

Also, a hacking forum was found that tells how to manage stolen account’s so that the owners cannot get it back with the Instagram account retrieval process.

How to stay safe With Phishing

  1. Have a unique Email address.
  2. Do not open any attachments without proper validation.
  3. Don’t open emails voluntary emails.
  4. Use Spam filters & Antispam gateways.
  5. Never respond to any spam emails.
  6. Check for Grammar and font styles.

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