Whew, this is a strange one. We all know Instagram goes down sometimes but this is more serious issue. Instagram users, all over the world, think that their accounts have been hacked into…by Russian cyber criminals!
A large number of Instagram users have been left confused, over the past weekend. For some reason, they have been locked out of the app. Their emails or passwords no longer work. Some have even pointed out that their profile pictures and profile names have changed. And this issue cuts across accounts of all sizes, both big and small!
Megan, one Instagram user with about 2,000 followers, has complained
She reveals that she woke up Monday morning to a logged out Instagram account! Furthermore, she realized both her user name and profile image had changed. Just as her password, email address, and Facebook account linked to her Instagram!
Another user, Krista, a fitness blogger with almost 5K followers shared a similar experience. She also found herself logged out, with her username, password and profile picture different. Krista tried a password reset, “only to see the new email linked to her account was now a .ru email: she had been hacked”, Mashable reported.
What proves that Russians are to blame?
Most users claim that the new email addresses linked to their accounts have a Russian domain– ‘.ru’.
“Like half a dozen other hacking victims who spoke with Mashable, her profile photo had been changed, as had all the contact information linked to the account, which was now linked to an email with a .ru Russian domain”, Mashable added in their report.
Hundreds more have raised alarm over the issue. Other reports reveal that IG users have tweeted on the issue. Data from analytics site, Talkwalker, indicate there have been more than 5,000 tweets from 899 different accounts, mentioning Instagram hacks just in the last 7 days!
“Many of these users have been desperately tweeting at Instagram’s Twitter account for help”, Mashable further says.
“Some Russian man hacked my Instagram! I can’t contact in any way. I tried to email Instagram but that was not possible”, one Twitter user tweeted
Instagram eventually replied, this user. They told her that her email and password had been changed in early August to a mail.ru account, a popular Russian language web based email hosting service.
While it’s still unclear how or why the attack has been launched, people suspect Russians especially after allegations that hackers, under the direction of President Putin, targeted sister app, Facebook.