Instagram reveals a community of hackers who stole usernames and resold them

The social networking network Instagram announced, on Wednesday, February 4, that a group hacked accounts to resell usernames. According to information from Vice, Confirmed by Many American media.

Thus the company owned by Facebook Hundreds of linked accounts disabled To a forum called OGUsers. It is a space that presents itself as a platform for buying and selling usernames on social networks. You can register and offer for sale a username that you have reserved on a platform, for example Instagram. In practice, many accounts have been hacked, stolen, and then resold within that community, according to Vice.

Facebook also announced that it had discovered the identity of some internet users involved in these practices, and Send a letter of attorney to them He orders them to stop all their activities on the social network within forty-eight hours.

Accounts on several social networks have been deleted

Several accounts were hacked because username was considered rare, and therefore valuable. Certainly Screenshot posted by IT security analyst Brian KrebsIn this article, we can see the dealer’s account who specifically offers to buy the username “Cigarette” on Telegram or “Bea” on Instagram. The more popular a social network, the more difficult it is to get very short or well known usernames, which internet users have often reserved since the platform was born.

Instagram wasn’t the only platform affected, as some accounts on Snapchat, Telegram, TikTok, or other sites also underwent the same underground trade. according to multimediaSocial media networks TikTok and Twitter have also taken action against accounts whose usernames have been purchased or sold on the platform. It should be noted that Usage instructions Instagram prohibits the sale or purchase of accounts or usernames.

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Well known forum

According to the deputy, Username Password It was especially good, and members of the OGUsers community who were involved in the account theft noticed a division of labor, with some netizens playing the role of middleman between sellers and buyers for usernames.

Already in 2018, the motherboard Published a long survey of practices Hackers stealing rare usernames and reselling them on social media, including Instagram. The site specifically described the use of a so-called “SIM card swap,” a way to appear to be a victim of a phone operator to receive calls and SMS instead. This way, it is possible to reset the target’s password, or face certain security measures against hacking, such as double authentication (sending an additional code, sometimes by SMS, every time a new connection is made to an account).

Read also What was the “SIM swap” that made it possible to hack the Twitter boss’s account?

The forum has always defended itself against the encouragement and official licensing of some illegal activities, and presented itself as a simple commercial platform. But already in 2018 Motherboard survey showed that selling stolen usernames in a variety of different ways Was commonplace.

On Friday February 5, the OGUsers admin posted a post on the forum under the pseudonym Ace – which appears to be a direct reaction to actions taken by Instagram and other social networks – where he explained that a large portion of previous posts had been deleted, and where he remembers it. “Any illegal activity is strictly prohibited on OGUsers.com.”

Stan Shaw

<p class="sign">"Professional food nerd. Internet scholar. Typical bacon buff. Passionate creator."</p>

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