Some Instagram users have been reporting hacked accounts, where their usernames and passwords are no longer recognized, and the email addresses attached are switched to “.ru” domains.
Mashable interviewed half a dozen users who’ve reported incidents such as these ones, where their accounts become associated with Russian emails, their handles changed, and their profile images switched to Disney or Pixar avatars. Instagram hacks have become a bit of a trend lately, with Twitter reporting over 5,000 tweets from 899 different accounts mentioning these events during the past week.
Despite the fact that Instagram hacks are being very publicly discussed on social media, the company claims that there hasn’t been a spike in their hacks and that everything is working properly. “We work hard to provide the Instagram community with a safe and secure experience,” said an Instagram spokesperson. “When we become aware of an account that has been compromised, we shut off access to the account and the people who’ve been affected are put through a remediation process so they can reset their password and take other necessary steps to secure their accounts.”
According to Mashable, an influencing factor could be Instagram’s two-factor authentication, which most of the hacked users didn’t have turned on. These hacks are curious because hackers don’t upload new images or posts, they simply change all the information that links the account to the original users’ email and personal information, making it really hard to retrieve the account. Many Instagram users have also commented on Instagram’s famously complicated process of retrieving an account, which makes the process even more painful.
I think it’s time you just admit that there has been a massive security breach. One that has allowed many people’s accounts to have been hacked without any warning emails. Your help centre is no help, forever sending people in circles. You need to step up and give people answers!
— Jasmine Cox (@Jazzii_xx) August 15, 2018
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While for some users it’s simply a pain to get hacked, for others who work on social media, hacks have deeper repercussions that can affect their sponsorships and job opportunities. Instagram should have easier and more secure ways of helping out their users, especially now that it’s become a place where people work and make a living.