TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and other major social media platforms have joined forces to fight hackers, shutting down hundreds of compromised accounts, including dozens that were used by Musk, Barack Obama and others to run Bitcoin scams last summer.
TikTok said in a statement that it has taken back some of the misappropriated TikTok user names and will continue to work with third parties and others in the industry to combat such bad behavior.
Top social platforms join forces to fight hackers
The hacking gang, which has caught the attention of various social platforms, comes from the Ogusers community. Ogusers, a site known for selling stolen user names, helped hackers hack the accounts through SIM exchanges and other methods. SIM exchange is where a user gains control over someone’s phone number and uses it to reset their password and control social media processing.
Today, Instagram announced that it has disabled hundreds of accounts that were stolen as part of an online hacking operation aimed at obtaining and selling rare user names. Journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs reports that TikTok and Twitter have also targeted some of the accounts of the same hackers.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “Today, we are removing hundreds of accounts associated with members of the Ogusers forum. They harass, blackmail and harm our community, and we will continue to do everything we can to make it harder for them to profit from their community usernames.” According to a Facebook spokesperson, the crackdown is notable because it is the first time the platform has publicly shared information about user name hacking surveillance.
Earlier this week, Instagram released a new feature that lets people recover deleted posts in case hackers take over their accounts and delete them.
In Krebs’ report, he also noted that Twitter and TikTok also took action against members of the popular OGUsers community on their respective platforms. However, it is unclear how much coordination there was between the three companies or to what extent TikTok and Twitter carried out their actions.
TikTok said in a statement: “As part of our ongoing work, we have identified and stopped some inauthentic behavior, and we recently withdrew some TikTok usernames that were being used to illegally occupy accounts. We will remain focused on maintaining our evolving strategy against bad actors, including working with third parties and others in the industry.”
In addition to shutting down stolen accounts, rendering them worthless, the platforms are understood to have also shut down the accounts of some well-known middlemen known as OGUsers. These middlemen act as middlemen in username transactions, placing funds in escrow in exchange for reduced fees.
Most of the hackers at Oguser are underage
Last summer, a small group of hackers at the site allegedly took part in an unprecedented Twitter hack, resetting the passwords of dozens of high-profile personal and corporate accounts, including Elon Musk and Barack Obama, and using their access to carry out Bitcoin scams.
Like Graham Ivan Clark, the 17-year-old at the heart of the Twitter hack, many of those who regularly use Oguser on Instagram are underage. They are lured into the community by the lure of stealing rare usernames and keeping their accounts. These usernames are usually single words or, in rare cases, single letters or numbers. They can sell for tens of thousands of dollars on the underground market as stolen digital goods.
Because platforms like Instagram and Twitter have rules against buying and selling accounts, hackers interested in obtaining them often resort to illegal means to do so. Sim hacking is a popular method that is standard for phishing, as well as persistent online harassment and blackmail.
With the rapid development of network technology, everyone is in contact with the network all the time, and network security has become a problem that must be paid attention to.
TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have all taken down hundreds of hacked accounts that were likely, or have been, used to commit illegal acts.
The crackdown is a joint effort by several companies, though it is unclear how the platforms were negotiated. But the massive crackdown on account theft highlights the importance social platforms attach to account security. In addition to corporate preventive measures, individuals should also pay more attention to security issues in their daily online life, setting relatively complex passwords and not clicking on suspicious links to prevent personal information from being used by criminals.