Published On: Wed, Jun 19th, 2019

Instagram Testing Methods of Regaining Access to Hacked Accounts

Instagram is testing new methods to help hacked users get their accounts back. The social media site, owned by Facebook, is working on a new method that will allow users to enter in their original email address when they started their account, or their phone number.

A six-digit code will be sent to the original phone number or email address to regain access to the account.

When access is regranted, Instagram will take additional measures to ensure that the account cannot be accessed from a hacker’s device. The social media site claims that hackers breach an account, change the phone number and email address, and block out the original owner of the account forever.

The new feature will bypass hacker attempts by ensuring that the original owner can regain access to the account using their original email or phone number.

Reports suggest that users are often duped into phishing attacks, relying on their followers to  write authentic opinions for Instagram posts, but many of these comments lead to phishing attempts where the user loses their account credentials in the process.

Usernames will also have an additional safety feature added where the name will be protected for a time period after it has been changed. This allows the original owner of the username to reclaim the name if they lose access to their account.

Hackers have been known to change account usernames, often valuable names, and then reclaim them.

Instagram’s current system relied on the person with the hacked account to hold up a picture with the access code and take a selfie to regain access to their account. Human verifiers would have to verify the user this way. Instagram claims that the new system is designed to augment the current system. Human verification will stay in place after the new system is tested and pushed through an update.

Influencers are the main target of hackers that try to leverage the influencers community to sell products and spam followers.

Fake accounts are another issue facing Instagram, with the Sudan solidarity campaign being hijacked by many of these fake accounts. Widespread violence has plagued Sudan since April, and fake accounts are being created to gain followers and exploit the violence that is occurring.

One account gained 400,000 followers in a week before being shut down. The account gained followers by promising to provide one meal to a Sudanese child for every follow or share that the account referenced. The account was found to be a fraud and exploited victims to gain a following.

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