When it comes to blockchain networks, the word “unhackable” pops up somewhat often. In this context, the word essentially means “decentralized,” as in, there’s no central point of access. Although a centralized server like Instagram’s has one point of entry, this doesn’t necessarily make it easy for a hacker to break in. Rather, it serves as a place for them to destroy any defenses in place to get to the information inside.
Then, there are targeted attacks that involve scamming a user out of their information via fake emails, phishing, and so much more. These are a little more interesting, as they usually consist of a user accidentally giving their password to the attacker. These users, such as those on Instagram, often think they’re entering info into an official form or something similar.
From Safe to Sold
What the hacker does next could be anything. Some of them leak the information, others sell it on the Dark Web, while others still go after a specific account in a targeted attack. Regardless of their next steps, nobody wants to have their account hacked.
Enter the recent strand of Instagram hacks targeting high-level users. Speaking to Motherboard, Kevin Kreider, owner of a Fitness Instagram account, suffered from an attack not too long ago. He and others received a message saying that their account had been hacked and that they must pay up in Bitcoin to get it back. However, only some account owners actually recovered their Instagram, and some of them don’t even know how it happened.
One paid the hackers and didn’t get anything back. Another, Anna Wood randomly had access again after blogging about the attack, though without a word from Instagram:
“Not one word. I don’t know how they fixed it. I don’t know who hacked my account. Was this a random attack? Was I targeted specifically?”
Instagram: A Lack of Accountability
Many said Instagram was of absolutely no help. All responses from the platform were fairly generic, and who knows how many other users received no support. It must be quite frustrating to have the platform one has built an entire career on do next to nothing to help recover from hackers. But, what if we didn’t have to rely on the platform, and instead, the community?
Ideally, a blockchain-based social media platform would provide that solution for Instagram. For example, say that a high-profile account is somehow taken over by attackers. First off, this is already quite difficult considering one would hold access to an account with their token and master password. But, from there, they could report the issue to the community in power, who would then vote on what to do next. One can safely assume that most cases would go towards the original user, and nobody would have to rely on a big company like Facebook to get back to them with a generic message. Of course, blockchain solutions bring up their own issues like scalability, but at least users would have more control over their security.
What methods do you use to shield yourself against hacking and phishing? Are you a frequent user of Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.
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