Instagram Application Hack Password Account – What methods do Instagram account hackers use? What do cybercriminals do with stolen accounts? How can users protect their accounts? We look at Instagram hacks from the perspective of a security researcher and share Instagram best practices with other social media users.
Many people use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for personal and business purposes. Instagram alone has more than a billion users every month – about one in eight of the world’s people.
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And like bees to nectar, cybercriminals are also flocking to these popular sites in search of loot and loot. In recent years, we have seen different groups and baits associated with such schemes.
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In this article, we will look at some Instagram phishing campaigns that are carried out by individuals or groups. To get the most out of this campaign, the hackers target social media influencers, which has also been seen in previous campaigns. After amassing thousands, if not millions, of followers and often making money through brand marketing, affiliate marketing and other channels, influencers lose a lot if their accounts are hacked.
Why is it important to investigate such a campaign? As they say, “Knowledge is half the battle,” and the same can be said for this plot. Knowing more about the tactics used in this campaign means that fewer people will be tricked into giving their account information to cybercriminals. Additionally, reviewing this and other similar images reminds users not to take good cybersecurity hygiene for granted.
To lure victims, hackers often disguise their accounts as technical support accounts. Sometimes they pretend to be a friend of the account owner.
They then use fake emails, messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp, or Instagram itself to contact potential victims. For this reason, they create new accounts or reuse stolen accounts. Their first message does not identify the account holder by name. Instead, the message starts with a simple greeting, which is one of the signs of fraud.
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Like the campaigns we’ve seen in the past, the content of the scam messages says that either the owner has infringed the copyright or they can provide a valid signal. According to the hackers’ message, the account will be deleted if the user does not verify their account by entering information on the website that the hackers included in the message. This link will take you to a fake website that mimics the user’s Instagram profile.
After selecting “Next” on the scam page, the user is asked to enter the correct account name. Note that the scam site cannot verify whether the username is for a valid Instagram account.
The user is asked to enter the password of the Instagram account, the email address associated with the account, and the email address. Again, the scam site accepts invalid and false information. The “Continue via Facebook” button no longer works.
When the user selects “Continue,” the page displays a confirmation page. The site also asks the user not to change their account information, apparently to give the hackers enough time to remove the information they want. But in fact, this message is included by hackers to buy enough time to log into the account using the information provided by the user.
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Figure 5: Phishing page showing a confirmation message after the account owner enters the requested information.
Selecting “Continue” on the confirmation page will take you to the likes section of the actual Instagram page. Hackers have included this on a scam website, it should lend credence to their scheme.
Figure 6. The personal section of the real Instagram support page, which is linked to the confirmation page of the phishing site.
If a user unknowingly provides their real information, cybercriminals change the account’s password, causing the owner to lose access to the account. Then they scan the account by downloading all the photos and posts manually or using Instagram backup. Hackers can also edit account profiles, share content through News Feeds, or contact victims.
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At the same time, hackers start talking to the victim. They usually manage a blocked account while the victim communicates with them using another account. Then they want to be paid in the form of Bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or vouchers to get access again. Based on the information found on other Bitcoin wallets related to this campaign, it seems that some of the goals paid off.
However, the discussion is just a push. They do this only so that the victim is not forced to explain what happened through the appropriate channels and to save time, because removing all the data from the account can take two days. Once the victim pays, hackers cannot recover the account. Instead, they just ask for another payment.
In many cases, a single attacker compromises multiple accounts at the same time. There are also times when each raider of a group has a specific role in the campaign, such as a raider, a collector, or a leader who oversees the operation.
Of the accounts that hackers choose to keep, those with at least 50,000 followers are used to run the scam, and those with 10,000 and 20,000 followers are used as proof to show peers that the hacker is part of the group. .
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In another scam, criminals use a fake Instagram badge as bait. The Verified Icon is a blue checkmark that appears next to the account names of many famous people, celebrities, brands, companies, and other popular organizations on Instagram. This icon indicates that Instagram has verified the account owner’s identity and profile.
To attract a potential victim, hackers pose as employees of Instagram (under the parent company Facebook) and send a message in which the owner of the account, unsurprisingly, does not mention the owner’s name, but opens with a general greeting. The post states that an account holder can apply for a “blue badge” (verified badge) by filling out an application form that can be accessed via a URL.
Figure 8: A message from the hacker allegedly offering the account holder the option to request a verification badge.
The link leads to a page that asks for the user’s username. As mentioned earlier, here the site cannot see if the name belongs to a real Instagram account.
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Selecting “Next” on this page will take you to another page that asks for the user’s password. This should log the user into their own account. However, this cannot be done and the site is only designed to collect the user’s password. The site also fails to check if the password is correct.
Selecting “Log in” will bring up a “Blue Badge Form” that asks for the user’s full name, email address, and phone number. The form also displays the username that has already been entered.
Selecting “Submit” will take you to a page that should confirm to the user that their verified badge application has been submitted.
Selecting “OK” will take you to the copy section of the actual Instagram page, as described earlier.
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Interestingly, after investigating the scam link through VirusTotal, we found that the IP address used in the scam was also linked to a link that appears to be linked to a Covid-19 related scam.
Cybercriminals always have scams to target. Fortunately, many platforms are introducing additional security features to protect user accounts. Instagram, for example, recently implemented a security check that walks users through a series of steps that can help protect their accounts. These steps include viewing login activity, profile information, accounts that share login information, and contact information.
Beyond the best efforts of software teams and websites, users can protect their accounts by following good security practices.
Users are encouraged to set up two-factor authentication or more. If this feature is enabled, hackers will not be able to access your account even if they have the password. Instagram and many other sites have options to change this.
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Users are also advised not to open links in e-mails or messages from unknown sources, because these links may lead to the cooking site.
Users can check the affected service or the site’s support page for more information in the event of a hack or account closure.
Users can also use solutions for additional layers of security. Trend Micro™ Cloud App Security supports the security of Microsoft Office 365, Google Workspace and other cloud services by detecting malicious URLs (such as phishing websites) hidden in email and attachments. Trend Micro™ Worry-Free™ service prevents phishing emails and other email threats from entering the Internet using machine learning and.
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