Social media has caught the eye of bad guys, who prey on any opportunity to go phishing. A new Instagram phishing campaign targets Romanian users.
The National Cyber Security Incident Response Center (CERT-RO) warns of the potentially malicious messages received on Instagram. Users can receive a link that leads to compromised sites created to spread spyware, adware, or even ransomware.
The New Instagram Phishing Campaign Comes Right After A Similar One Targeting Facebook Users
Shortly after a phishing campaign targeted Facebook users with fake “looks like you” and “you appear in this video” type of messages, a similar attempt is circulating on Instagram these days.
These messages contain a malicious link, which the sender claims is a video or a picture in which the recipient appears. The text of the received message can be both in Romanian and in English, the National Center for Response to Cyber Security Incidents (CERT-RO) noted.
The malicious URL does not lead to the promised clip.
“The attackers do not provide additional details and take advantage of human curiosity to make the user click. Moreover, they use a URL naming service to hide the actual site you are about to visit“, CERT-RO explained.
“In some variants, the link redirects to a phishing site, where the attackers collect the authentication data to the Facebook account of the potential victim, and in others accessing the link can lead to the installation of malicious software. For example, if you are redirected to a fraudulent login and enter your credentials, they are uploaded to an online remote server that cybercriminals have access to. They can use them directly to try to gain access to your account, from where they can extract additional data or launch other attacks, or sell them on forums dedicated to hackers.”
Usually, accessing that link redirects the victim of the attack through multiple websites compromised or even designed to spread various types of cyber traps, including spyware, adware, or even ransomware.
“At the same time, the message will be sent to your contacts on social media, and friends you have in your account list will be in danger of falling into the same trap. That is why it is important, in addition to avoiding accessing links from unknown sources or unsolicited messages, to have a security solution installed on devices, with which to scan such resources that you are not sure about “, CERT- RO experts said.
Be very cautious of the messages you receive on social media. For example, if you receive a link in a private message associated with messages such as “looks like you,” “you appear in this clip,” or “it took me about 3 hours to make,” it is strongly recommended NOT to access the link provided.
What To Do If You Do Click On The Malicious Link
If you’ve already accessed the poisoned link, CERT-RO recommends taking the following steps:
- Immediately change your social media account password;
- Enable 2-factor authentication;
- Make sure that you are not logged in to the account in suspicious locations that you do not recognize, and that no third-party applications have been granted permissions on your account. Remove those applications that you consider suspicious.
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