Instagram comes under large-scale spam attack, prompts affected users to reset passwords

Instagram comes under large-scale spam attack, prompts affected users to reset passwords

Instagram has prompted a large number of users to reset their passwords after the popular photo (and now video) sharing site came under attack from fruit-wielding spammers.

The Next Web’s Matt Navarra was one of a seemingly sizable number of Instagram’s 130 million monthly active users to receive a mail from the Facebook-owned service prompting him to reset his password because it “may have been compromised”.

Update: Instagram confirmed the issue and says it is cleaning up issues, the full statement at the bottom of this post.

As GigaOm first noted, the service has been under attack from a large wave of spammers — seemingly working for a company promoting a ‘miracle’ fruit diet — who are taking over accounts, posting fruit-related images and changing profile URLs to a target website.


I’ve not personally noticed any hacked images from the users I follow, but a number of affected Instagrammers have taken to Twitter after being hacked and/or having their passwords reset:

We’ve reached out to Facebook to find out what’s going on, we’ll keep you posted with further details as we get them.

Update: An Instagram spokesperson tells us:

Earlier today a small portion of our users experienced a spam incident where unwanted photos were posted from their accounts. Our security and spam team quickly took actions to secure the accounts involved, and the posted photos are being deleted.

Headline image via Thinkstock

Read next: We asked 7 new MacBook Air owners how the extended battery has impacted their lives. It's a game changer.

Corona coverage

Read our daily coverage on how the tech industry is responding to the coronavirus and subscribe to our weekly newsletter Coronavirus in Context.

For tips and tricks on working remotely, check out our Growth Quarters articles here or follow us on Twitter.