A South-Delhi based fashion blogger recently woke up to a rude shock when she learnt that her Instagram account had been hacked and that the hackers were based in eastern Europe. The hackers sent the fashion blogger a mail demanding her ransom amount worth hundreds of dollars. The hackers demanded the ransom in bitcoins to get her profile unlocked.
Hackers breached the blogger's account after she clicked on a link in the mail which asked her to change the Instagram ID.
"This was shocking for me. I contacted Instagram after I got a mail from 'Jon McKenzie' who claimed to have taken access of my account and demanded money," Prerna Nigam. South Delhi-based blogger and Image Consultant was quoted by the TOI.
The online hacker threatened to sell her account if the ransom was not arranged. A complaint was lodged by the victim, Prerna Nigam, with the cyber cell.
While the cyber cell looked into the complain, Prerna sought help about the hacked account on Twitter.
A few days later Prerna was contacted by another Twitter user who offered help in getting the Instagram account unlocked. But soon the person offering help started to demand a heavy amount.
However, Prerna's account was unlocked after grievance unit of cyber cell asked her to establish her identity.
"I AM BACK! Heart exclamation
Guys,I have reclaimed my Instagram account after 3 days! Quite an ordeal and I have learnt quite a few things. It could happen with anyone! I am going to share all this in detail but for now it’s such a breather! Sigh! (I need to catch on some sleep too) @instagram," Prerna tweeted after her account was unlocked.
I AM BACK! ❣️— Prerna Nigam Gautam (@NigamPrerna) August 23, 2020
Guys,I have reclaimed my Instagram account after 3 days! Quite an ordeal and I have learnt quite a few things. It could happen with anyone! I am going to share all this in detail but for now it’s such a breather! Sigh! (I need to catch on some sleep too)@instagram pic.twitter.com/6wyuZbPJuM
Rise in cases of social media accounts being hacked
The incident highlights risks involved in using social media. Attacks on Instagram accounts have become increasingly common as more people are using it increase their companies or products' reach. A growing number of companies are looking to rope in popular Instagram, Twitter bloggers in order to expand their reach.
Modus Operandi of hackers
Phishing emails are the most common issue. Users are sent a warning or alert mail asking them sensitive information regarding their accounts. Once they have such information, it is used to hack the account.
- Keep changing your account password at regular intervals
- Don't reuse passwords across all sites
- Try and keep a combination of words that are not obvious