Social Media Accounts Hijacked to Post Indecent Images

Social Media Accounts Hijacked to Post Indecent Images

UK police are warning of a surge in social media hacking incidents in which victims’ accounts are flooded with indecent images of children.

Action Fraud said it had received scores of reports since the start of the year, with incidents increasing month by month.

“Based on the review of these Action Fraud reports, there appears to be no financial motivation behind this hacking, with no report received mentioning a ransom demand,” it explained.

“Offenders have not been limited to just indecent images, but have reportedly uploaded videos of the same nature. The majority of victims were not aware of the hacking until they received an email from the social media platform informing them that their account had been suspended.”

Action Fraud said any indecent images of children should be reported to the police by calling 101 or visiting a local police station. It added that such images should never be screenshotted, saved or shared.

It urged social media users to protect their accounts with two-factor authentication, which will help to mitigate the risk of passwords being phished, guessed or brute forced by attackers.

Password security can also be improved by choosing strong, unique credentials such as three random words, it said.

Social media account takeovers are nothing new, but the posting of indecent images to deface those accounts is rare.

More common is posting of cryptocurrency scams and other fraud schemes, as happened to the official accounts of the British Army earlier this month.

Some account takeover attacks like this are genuine attempts to make money by hijacking the trust relationship between account holders and their often large group of followers.

However, others are attempts to gain notoriety, as was the case with the hijacking of several NFL teams’ Twitter accounts back in 2020. In a similar stunt earlier this year, the account of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) was hacked to post distasteful messages.

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You can also read this: British Army Social Media Accounts Hijacked

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