A large number of Instagram accounts have been highjacked by a currently unknown attacker. Right now, the number of compromised accounts is in the hundreds, though that number may continue to grow. Those who have been targeted by the attack have found that their account credentials including username, email and password have been changed when they attempt to access their account. In each one of the instances, the emails were all from a Russian email service provider. A number of the accounts that were compromised belonged to users who had large numbers of followers. This has led many to worry that this may be Russian trolls stealing accounts to be used to spread misinformation. While this is possible the fact that high profile accounts were stolen would likely make them less useful as their theft would likely gain large amounts of attention, as it has. The most useful accounts for misinformation are ones that have gained large amounts of followers on their own rather than through theft as they are able to retain credibility better than a stolen account.
By Akshay Rohatgi and Randy Pargman About this Student Research Project Binary Defense’s mission is