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This article was published on July 27, 2013

Mysterious Instagram hack returns, posting photos of fruit smoothies to user accounts (Update)

Mysterious Instagram hack returns, posting photos of fruit smoothies to user accounts (Update) Image by: THOMAS COEX
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

An Instagram hack that posts pictures of fruit to users’ timelines has returned. We last saw the issue back in June.

Once again, the images – often of fruit but sometimes (as The Verge notes) of smoothies – are accompanied by text suggesting that the user is trying a new diet and encouraging others to follow a link that has been inserted into their bio. There are numerous reports of the hack on Twitter, mainly from four hours ago at the time of writing.

Update: An Instagram spokesperson confirmed the incident, telling us:

Last night 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.

Instagram

The links being inserted into bios are made to look like BBC links, but the domain being used was actually registered just yesterday (although the registrant details may well be fake) – suggesting that it may have been registered specifically for use in this hack.

Needless to say, don’t click the links and if you’ve been affected, reset your Instagram password.

We’ll let you know if we hear back from Instagram or Facebook about the issue. It would be very interesting to know how the hackers are gaining access to users’ accounts.

2013-07-27 08.23.17

Header image credit: THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images