- Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Teen Vogue
- Instagram users are complaining about a weird hack that locks them out of their accounts and replaces their login email with a Russian email address.
- Users are finding that they can’t access their accounts, that their profile pictures have been changed to an animated film still, or even that the accounts have been deleted.
- Those impacted are complaining on Twitter that Instagram isn’t giving them any real help.
- Instagram said it is aware of the issue and is investigating.
Instagram users are complaining on Twitter about a bizarre hack that locks them out of their accounts, and then changes the username, image, and associated email address.
According to numerous complaints on Twitter, first spotted by Mashable, Instagram users are finding that they can no longer access their account because the login details have changed.
They also report the hackers changing their profile pictures to animated stills from Disney or Pixar films, or just deleting the accounts altogether. In some cases, hackers changed the associated email to one with Russia’s .ru domain.
Instagram said in a blog post on Tuesday that it is investigating the issue, and advised users to keep a strong password.
Here’s one user complaining that her account email has changed. Her profile picture was also changed to a film still:
— ???????????????????? ???????? (@abbey__riley) August 15, 2018
According to Mashable, there have been tweets about the hack from 899 accounts on Twitter.
Multiple users complained that Instagram isn’t doing enough to help them. Because their login credentials have changed, it’s difficult for the users to recover their accounts.
@instagram hey instagram – another victim of account hacking here and I can't find any way to report it! Absolutely livid and lack of official response is awful – please help or release a statement on action for those affected! #instagramhacked
— Genevieve Norton (@_genga_) August 14, 2018
— DarioDiPaola (@_DipD_) August 14, 2018
Sad. Scared. And alone. @instagram does not care about its users privacy and data security. My account was hacked earlier this morning and @instagram is leaving me to fend for myself. This is a ridiculous and severe issue and cannot get ahold of instagram.
— Elaina Aquila (@UhOhLanie_O) August 1, 2018
In its blog, Instagram wrote: “We are aware that some people are having difficulty accessing their Instagram accounts.” The company pointed users to its guidance on hacked accounts and said people should revoke any suspicious third-party apps that might have access to their accounts.
Instagram limited what data third-party apps can access using its APIs following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but its blog suggests people may have still handed over their login credentials to bogus services.
A spokeswoman added in a statement that the company tries to provide a safe environment for users. “When we become aware of an account that has been compromised, we shut off access to the account and the people who’ve been affected are put through a remediation process so they can reset their password and take other necessary steps to secure their account,” she said.