Hackers continue to target celebrity Instagram accounts for their delicate welfare. This time, they have targeted Mexican weather girl and social media star Yanet Garcia (11.5 million followers) and also singer Nicole Scherzinger (3.9 million followers). After acquiring complete control over these accounts, scammers modify the bio to a TinyURL or Bit.ly link atht leads users who tap upon them to survey scam web domains that supposedly offer free iPhone XS’s and many more on the Instagram Story.
By doing such things, hackers can generate revenues in two ways, first is earning a fee for each survey finished and other is reselling the data provided by the users. The experts observed the Cyber criminals behind the attacks following a particular scam pattern. “Each of the Instagram accounts were hijacked over the past couple of weeks and the attackers were in control enough to rotate multiple shortened links leading to webpages with surveys that collect personal information; this is sold for marketing purposes, typically of a darker shade.”
In the last week, Avengers star Robert Downey Jr. experienced a similar Instagram hack, the movie star however managed to get his account back in a few days. His followers are 43.2 million people and the scam looked nearly identical to the ones that affected Garcia and Scherzinger. Scammers are incisive to use Instagram accounts of celebrities believing that few among millions of followers will complete surveys, share their personal data and download the sponsored apps -with this, they would make commission for the hackers.
It looks like criminals are utilizing more social engineering tactics in the recent hacks. In addition to abbreviated links that lead users to scam web pages, scammers also displayed Yanet Garcia’s and Nicole Scherzinger’s fake nude photos and claimed that the sex tape would be released once a certain number of downloads of the apps is reached.