Instagram is testing a new feature to prevent cyber hackers from hijacking “high profile” accounts with which they can later request some kind of ” ransom“. The same case has been exposed by the actress Bella Thorne, who got her account hacked on Instagram and was threatened to publish her private photos if she did not give a certain amount of virtual money.
Nevertheless, the interpreter of series like Shake It Up and Scream did not panic, and although the images were quite compromising, she decided to publish them herself on her Twitter account to not feel humiliated or controlled by someone else.
However, according to a Motherboard report, her case was one among many. Cyber hackers usually focus on influencers accounts to threaten to erase them, unless their owners pay a ransom. In some cases, the victims have had to pay more than USD100 in cryptocurrencies to be able to recover their accounts, which in many cases have more than 50 thousand followers.
In other cases, the cybercriminals negotiate accounts that have many followers and sell them for up to USD 100,000, according to The Atlantic. The most common method for this type of attack is through phishing (stealing personal information through a fraudulent source, such as a fake site, for example).
To date, to take control of an account you need to receive a verification email or complete an assistance form. Once the process is launched, a six-digit code is sent to the contact information of your choice. With this new test, it will be more complicated to carry out this process of using email codes or telephone numbers to control accounts from a device different from the one normally used or to change information about it.
In this way, Instagram’s new identity verification system allows an account to be recovered even if an intruder has changed the user name and contact information. And even then it will prevent you from claiming the username for a “period of time” after making a change to the account, either by hacking or a voluntary change.
Thus, with this system, in addition to limiting the verification of accounts on unrecognized devices, the company puts a safe time to prevent a hacker from changing the user name and keep the account. At the moment it is a test system, it is expected that the company ends sooner or later implementing a system of this type to prevent theft of accounts and username.