Access Denied! New Instagram Hack Kicks Users Out of Their Accounts

By on Aug 15, 2018

Instagram is undoubtedly one of, if not the most popular social media platform among users today. Everyone from celebrities to young teens use it to post images of their day-to-day lives. And now, according to Mashable, hundreds of these users have reported having their Instagram accounts hacked. The attack logs them out of their account and changes their personal details on the platform.

This hack started popping up in early August when users began to report all the same issues with their account — they’re suddenly logged out, their handles and profile pictures are changed (usually to a Disney or Pixar character), and their bios are deleted. When these social media fans try to reset their password, they find that the account has been linked to a new email address with a Russian domain and a random phone number has been associated with the account.

This makes it particularly difficult for users to gain control over their accounts, as Instagram’s support messages now go to the new email address. However, beyond locking these people out of their accounts, the hackers haven’t done any other damage, such as deleting old photos or posting any new ones.

From tweeting at Instagram’s official Twitter account to just starting a brand-new account – these unlucky Instagram users are now taking whatever next steps they can to get back on their favorite social media platform. However, there’s still more to be done. To ensure both their online social media activity and personal information remain secure from this attack, these users should follow these security tips:

  • Enable two-factor authentication. Though it’s not known yet how these hackers were able to get inside of these accounts, make note you can always add some extra armor on your online accounts by enabling two-factor authentication. Now, two-factor authentication cannot be treated as the be-all and end-all when it comes to your online security, but it does help. Just by adding the extra layer of security, you’ll put yourself in a better position to avoid attacks such as this one.
  • Change up your login information to other accounts. Some people have a bad habit of using the same password and email combination across multiple accounts. If this is the case for the account login information you use for Instagram, it’s best to go ahead and mix up the login information on any other account that uses either the same email or password.
  • Make your passwords strong. When you’re making your new passwords, make sure they’re strong and difficult to guess in the chance cybercriminals try to come after additional accounts. Include numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and symbols. The more complex your password is, the more difficult it will be to crack. Finally, avoid common and easy to crack passwords like “12345” or “password.”

And, of course, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

About the Author

Gary Davis

Gary Davis was previously McAfee's Consumer Security Evangelist providing security education and advice to businesses and consumers. He is a sought-after speaker on trends in digital security, appearing at conferences and events, as well as security and consumer lifestyle broadcast outlets and publications such as ABC, NBC, FOX, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money ...

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