Facebook-owned app announced it is testing new features that could make it easier for people to regain access to accounts that the hackers have taken.
The news follows users’ reports of loss of access to their valuable accounts, as well as a separate story from the motherboard about how some of these victims turned to white (or well-intentioned) hat hackers for help.
Usually, the attackers deceive users of Instagram for they click a link of phishing that obliges them to enter their login credentials, which gives them access to the account. Once you have control, the hacker changes the email address and the telephone number associated with the account, what you can do to regain access is a nightmare.
Therefore, Instagram is implementing a test that will ask users to enter the email address or phone number linked to their account, or those they used when they initially signed up for the platform.
Instagram will send a six-digit code that will allow them to regain access. If a hacker also has control over your email and phone number, an Instagram spokesperson tells the motherboard that, “When you access your account again, we will take additional steps to ensure that a hacker cannot use the codes sent to your email address or phone number to access your account from a different device.” The same process would protect people whose usernames were changed.
Instagram noted that another feature that is already available on Android “will ensure that your username is secure for a period of time after any changes to the account, meaning that someone else can’t claim it if you lose access. The feature will also come to iOS.
Hackers often want to gain access to an account to maintain a precious username or an influence account to get a ransom. The company relies primarily on a system that involved hacking victims taking a selfie holding a piece of paper with a code that Instagram had sent them.
The idea is that human moderators can match their face to the photo and verify that they are who they say they are, but the system doesn’t always work. This new test does not seem to be replacing that system, but is increasing it.