A new report from The Hill states that Russian hackers have just been connected to Britney Spears. The hackers have also been linked to associations with the Russian government.
According to the report, researchers at Eset found that Turla, a well-known group believed to be affiliated with Russian intelligence, designed a malicious extension for the FireFox web browser to allow malware on a victim's computer to communicate with the hackers over the photo-sharing social network.
It is not uncommon for hackers to use social media. However, this was one of the first reported times they used Instagram.
While the way they actually hacked in was complicated, the report breaks it down for readers. It is also good for people to have general knowledge so they can better protect their accounts.
"The extension would look for a comment that met certain mathematical parameters. It would decode that comment by looking for text formatting markers in the comment that indicate which letters are important.
For example, on the Spears photo, the encoded comment was "#2hot make loveid #Hot #X." Hidden in the comment were invisible formatting characters marking letters and numbers that would direct the malware to a web address for a server that acted as an intermediary between the hackers and the victim," read the report.
The report elaborated further that the encoded web addresses use the URL shortener bit.ly, which makes public data about how many people follow a link. Eset notes in its report that "only 17 people followed the link on the Spears photo. That could mean this was only a test run of the extension or that other versions used different encoded pictures and addresses."
Did you know this was even possible? Would you have ever suspected Britney Spears's account to be the culprit?