We responded to a hacked account on Instagram

We responded to a hacked account on Instagram

The number of hacked accounts on Instagram continues to grow. The advice of the Postal Police is to never open suspicious links.

The latest victim was Matteo Biffoni, mayor of Prato. This morning his collaborators, friends, voters and employees of the municipality found a series of messages on their smartphones proposing investments in Bitcoins. All, of course, incredibly advantageous. Since May, the number of reports of Instagram accounts stolen continues to increase. The method is always the same: once cybercriminals get hold of one account, they immediately try to infect another. Only this morning it also happened to a Fanpage.it journalist. Two requests within a few hours. We don’t usually reply to these messages but this time we wanted to see what would happen.

The Instagram scam attempt

“Hello. Sorry if I bother you with this, I’m vying for a post as an ambassador in an online influencer program, can you vote for me please? ”. The message is accompanied by a series of emoji with dubious taste. Once answered the person behind the profile tried to explain this contest better and asked us to click on a link in order to give our preference. The link arrived via sms directly on our phone number. The origin is curious. As you can see in the screenshots left below, the sender is the same number from which the messages to recover the password of Facebook.

We responded to a hacked account on Instagram - September 30, 2022

To avoid security issues, we did not immediately open the link sent to us. However, we did it from a virtual machine, a system that allows you to create a workspace disconnected from the operating system of our PC with which you can handle this type of link with more peace of mind. Once opened, a file was automatically downloaded. If instead of doing it from our virtual machine we had done it from a smartphone, there would probably now be a program running automatically on our device that would try to steal other data from us.

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1662561547 875 We responded to a hacked account on Instagram - September 30, 2022

How the network of cyber criminals works

Maximilian Mormon he is deputy superintendent of the State Police and serves as deputy director of the Naples postal police. It is he who explains to Fanpage.it that requests for help for this type of crime are continuing to increase: “We received the first complaints in May. Now of all the reports that come in, at least half are of stolen accounts. We are now talking about hundreds of cases ”. The phishing mechanism it is a chain: “Cybercriminals go from profile to profile and often change their email address and telephone number once they enter, so as to prevent the owner from coming back in and choosing a new password”.

Sending text messages from the number used by Facebook for the verification codes then serves to make the victim believe that it is a legitimate operation: “This technique has a precise name: spoofing. Thanks to a software it is possible to change the sender’s number so that the smartphone reads it as a number linked to the services of banks and social networks. Once the link sent to this channel is opened, anything can happen. Sometimes an application is downloaded automatically, other times instead we land on a portal that resembles the official ones of the service we are using. Once here, the user will be asked for new data ”.

It remains to be clarified how these cybercriminals know the phone number. According to Mormon, Instagram account data that has ended up in the hackers’ crosshairs are often related to databases that contain information that is already widespread: “Hacking is now widespread and our information can be taken from databases collected in past years. Sometimes it is enough to simply retrieve the numbers that a person keeps in the address book to associate them with social profiles “. To carry out the plan then you have to act in a group, since no bots are used in conversations: “The people who talk are always real. We have already carried out several operations in which we have verified that bots are not usually used ”.

What to do to recover the account

If cybercriminals change your password, phone number and reference email, recovering your Instagram profile risks turning into a complex operation. The first move to make is to block access. When a new device enters our social networks, we should receive an email notification to the email address entered to register. By blocking access immediately, you can avoid problems: for this reason it is advisable to use an email that you read often to register on social networks. If, on the other hand, the theft of the profile has already been done then just follow the procedures indicated by Meta, in the case of Facebook and Instagram. Often at this point you can recover your account through an authentication made with facial recognition.

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