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Hackers Use WhatsApp to Hack into Instagram Accounts

Security researchers have detected a new phishing attack that uses WhatsApp to hack into victims’ Instagram accounts.

New Phishing Campaign Leveraging WhatsApp to Gain Access to Instagram

More specifically, an “unnamed Turkish hacker group” is exploiting WhatsApp to initiate large phishing attacks in India, Business Insider India reports. Let’s see how the attacks are happening.

More specifically, an “unnamed Turkish hacker group” is exploiting WhatsApp to initiate large phishing attacks in India, Business Insider India reports. Let’s see how the attacks are happening.

In these attacks, targeted users are prompted to provide their Instagram passwords. To do that, users are asked to click on a link shared via WhatsApp. The next step of the phishing attempt requires the potential victim to type in their Instagram password in a form pre-filled with the relevant email ID. This definitely increases the chance of a user complying with the well-masqueraded hackers’ requests.

Once the password is filled in the form, a screen copying Instagram would appear informing the user they will receive a response in 24 hours. Overall, the phishing page is convincing and it’s highly likely that users don’t notice anything before it’s too late. In this case, the user will be logged out of their account while the linked email ID is changed. This makes it impossible for the victim to claim their account back.

Phishing campaigns are getting smarter and their success rate is also improving. Another clever phishing attack was detected last year, leveraging Google and Yahoo and common forms of two-factor authentication.

How to Stay Protected Against Phishing

Protection against phishing attacks is basically protection against suspicious web links, malware and harmful software. Your protection comes down to the combination of security methods you apply.

To minimize the risk of phishing scams, end users should consider implementing a powerful anti-malware solution on their systems. The tips listed below also serve as great precautionary methods against phishing and malware:

  • Make sure to use additional firewall protection. Downloading a second firewall is an excellent solution for any potential intrusions.
  • Make sure that your programs have less administrative power over what they read and write on your computer. Make them prompt you admin access before starting.
  • Use stronger passwords. Stronger passwords (preferably ones that are not words) are harder to crack by several methods, including brute forcing since it includes pass lists with relevant words.
  • Turn off AutoPlay. This protects your computer from malicious executable files on USB sticks or other external memory carriers that are immediately inserted into it.
  • Disable File Sharing – recommended if you need file sharing between your computer to password protect it to restrict the threat only to yourself if infected.
  • Switch off any remote services – this can be devastating for business networks since it can cause a lot of damage on a massive scale.
  • If you see a service or a process that is external and not Windows critical and is being exploited by hackers (Like Flash Player) disable it until there is an update that fixes the exploit.
  • Make sure to download and install the critical security patches for your software and OS.
  • Configure your mail server to block out and delete suspicious file attachment containing emails.
  • If you have a compromised computer in your network, make sure to isolate immediately it by powering it off and disconnecting it by hand from the network.
  • Turn off Infrared ports or Bluetooth – hackers love to use them to exploit devices. In case you use Bluetooth, make sure that you monitor all of the unauthorized devices that prompt you to pair with them and decline and investigate any suspicious ones.
  • Employ a powerful anti-malware solution to protect yourself from any future threats automatically.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the project started. A professional with 10+ years of experience in creating engaging content. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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