It seems like whenever somebody decides to do something illegal, the first thing that comes to their mind is bitcoin. It has become a common occurrence to have bitcoin associated with internet related crimes, that the digital currency has gained notoriety for being the preferred currency of the criminal kind. People conveniently overlook the various advantages of bitcoin while blaming it for all the wrongs it has been part of.
In one such instance, the law enforcement officers in Netherlands has recently apprehended two youth who were suspected of hacking into Instagram accounts. These two suspects, in their late teens, are believed to have targeted Instagram users with a large number of followers. Aged between 18 and 19 years, they were picked up by the Dutch police from the cities of Alblasserdam and Boskoop.
The Modus Operandi involved gaining access to the accounts of active Instagram users and using the information to illegally sell advertisements to companies. The hackers used ‘spear-phishing‘ attack to make these Instagram users divulge their login details. Spear phishing is a kind of cyber-attack where the perpetrator targets the victims by sending an email impersonating a familiar company, person or a brand. The victim will not be able to readily differentiate the fake email from the genuine one and believing that the email is from a trusted party the victim will end up providing confidential details. In this case, the confidential information was Instagram credentials.
These hackers have allegedly used the stolen login information to run social media promotions and ad campaigns for various businesses. It is reported that these teens collected large sums of money from the advertisers, and pushed the advertisements using stolen accounts without the actual owner’s permission. According to reports, these teens also converted the money received from advertisers into bitcoin for easy transfer and storage.
Phishing attempts are a common appearance. It is always advisable for internet users to verify the mail before entering any confidential details. Otherwise, they may end up handing over their accounts and passwords on a platter to the hackers.
Ref: SecNews | Img: SecNews