Thousands of Instagram accounts flooded with porn after being targeted by cyber criminals

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It has been revealed that thousands of Instagram accounts have been hacked and flooded with images of a pornographic nature with the intention of getting users to visit an adult “dating” website.

Cyber security firm Symantec first spotted the issue after some users took to social media to report their Instagram feed being swamped with sexually explicit images.

The images had been sent from a hacked Instagram account that was then used to share the pornographic images. Unsuspecting users were then redirected to an fake porn site controlled by the hackers.

The dodgy site contained a survey for the user to complete along with the promise of “quick sex”.

Once the survey has been completed the user is then redirected to another site that contains an affiliate ID number.

As is the case with other affiliate sites, every time someone signs up the affiliate will earn money.

How to spot a hacked profile

Once again the problem appears to be caused by weak passwords and the use of the same passwords across multiple online accounts or profiles. However, once hacked Symantec said that there are a couple of identifying traits.

The first is that the profile picture on the hacked Instagram account is always changed to that of a woman, even if the hacked account belongs to a man.

How can you protect yourself?

Instagram have now released two-factor authentication adding an extra layer of security although Symantec say that not all users have access to this.

You can see if you are able to access this via Settings which appear in the top right hand corner – just tap on the wheel icon. There you will see the two-factor authentication option if it is available on your profile.

If it is, Symantec suggest using it as this will almost certainly protect you from an attack.

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