Update on October 2: Pinterest users still seeing hacked accounts spilling spam onto Facebook, Twitter
Pinterest users are taking to Facebook and Twitter to complain about their hacked accounts, in what appears to be yet another round of spammers attacking the pinboard-style photo sharing site. In fact, many users are noticing that their friends and followers are pushing Pinterest spam to Facebook (showing up on users’ Timelines and thus friends’ Tickers as well as News Feeds) and Twitter, since users often link the social networks together for cross-posting purposes.
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A search on Facebook shows the apparent hacks go back as far as this past weekend. The earliest one that is publicly available to me comes from Tanya Boyd on Saturday night:
Someone hacked my Pinterest account! Deleted two of my boards and renamed another one and changed it’s contents. Called it, “im da boss”. I changed my password! No, “I’m DA Boss!”
Minutes later, Kathleen Cobcroft chimed in:
Peter’s just had his Pinterest account hacked by a spammer (password now changed) – they post dubious adverts to your boards. Also one of his tablet apps started giving him pop up ads (hopefully now deleted). I blame the assignment on metadata that he’s just started for his Information Organisation and Description class.
Most Facebook posts aren’t public, since when the social network was first started it was built for only sharing between friends. As a result, more messages about the hacks are on Twitter, which shows the attacks go back even further, till at least the Sunday before last, according to William Ball:
Just saw my first hacked Pinterest account. Spam and phishing schemes look especially out of place, there.
— William Ball (@ekstasis) September 2, 2012
The next day, another one, from Jeff Pugh:
Apparently my Pinterest account was hacked and that explained the weird tweets. And the weird pins. So I shut down Pinterest.
— Jeff Pugh (@jeff_pugh) September 3, 2012
A Twitter search for “Pinterest hacked” shows even more complaints. At the time of writing, they’re coming in very quickly:
Pinterest has had a problem with hackers before. Two months ago, the company started temporarily locking out accounts in response to hacks, and as TechCrunch reported, the social network posted three related Account Security support documents.
The first one, Help! Someone is accessing my account without my permission tells you what to do if you think your account has been breached:
If you notice boards, pins or other activity on your account that you did not create, it’s possible someone has gained access to your account.
- First, change your password immediately by logging in and going to the Settings page. Then, you can delete any pins and/or boards that were created.
- If changing your password does not solve the issue, please submit a ticket for assistance.
- Unfortunately, we are unable to restore any deleted boards or pins.
- Please submit a ticket if you have any idea how someone may have gained access to your login information. Consider whether you have recently encountered any misleading 3rd party apps, if you use web browser extensions, or if you use the same password on multiple sites. We also recommend running trusted antivirus software to check your computer for malware.
If you submit a ticket, please file it under Policy & Abuse -> Hacked Account.
I have contacted Pinterest about this issue. I will update you if and when I hear back.