Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
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:
No, I’m not advocating for an all fruit diet. My instagram was hacked.
— chris dixon (@cdixon) June 29, 2013
It’s sad and funny that my sister knew my Instagram was hacked because I posted a pic of fruit and the caption was about my healthy diet.
— Amy Chance (@amychance) June 29, 2013
Wtf someone hacked my Instagram and posted pictures of fruit
— Juliet DeGain (@Juliet_DeGain) June 29, 2013
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
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