Instagram makes it easier to get your account back if you’ve been hacked
Facebook parent Meta has announced a number of new security support initiatives, including Instagram’s new account support service to help users whose accounts have been compromised.
Instagram has rolled out the site — instagram.com/hacked — where users can go if they can’t log into their account. Whatever the reason, whether it’s an account hack or forgotten password, the page flow helps users report and resolve account access issues.
Instagram is also rolling out a feature it tested earlier this year that lets users ask two friends to verify their identity to regain access to an account.
“If you get locked out of your account, you’ll be able to choose two of your Instagram friends to verify your identity and get back into your account,” Instagram notes in a blog post.
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The account security update for Instagram is part of a broader account security effort from parent Meta across its core apps.
In addition, Meta is increasing the verified blue badge on Instagram to make it visible in stories and direct messages to help people verify that the accounts they use are authentic.
It also tests “imposter alerts”, where the systems detect an account that is malicious or impersonating someone to get others to follow. Over the next few months, it will also send warnings if an account that could impersonate a business sends a user a direct message.
Also on the cards is live chat support on Facebook for 30 countries after a nine-country test, according to Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy, and Jimena Almendares, head of support and customer experience.
“This year we carefully developed a small test of a live chat support feature on Facebook and we are starting to see positive results. During the month of October, for example, we offered our live chat support option to over one million people in nine countries, and we now plan to expand this test to more than 30 countries around the world,” they said in a joint blog post.
Ben Nimmo, Meta’s global threat intelligence leader, and David Agranovich, director of threat disruption, also provided an update on Meta’s work across Facebook to disrupt influencers who violate the Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) guidelines.
Meta says it has disrupted 200 global influence operations since 2017, operating from 68 countries in at least 42 languages. The top targets of these networks were the United States, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. The source of most of these CIB networks was Russia (34), Iran (29) and Mexico (13).
There has been an alarming, but not surprising, increase in the use of AI-generated images for profile pictures of CIB actors. The images are generated with free generative adversarial network (GANs) apps. Meta says that just under 80% of the CIB networks it thwarted this year contained accounts likely to have GAN-generated profile pictures, up from 20% in 2021.
Nimmo and Agranovich believe that threat actors can use them to make fake accounts look more authentic and to avoid detection by researchers who use reverse image searches to discover stock photos in profile pictures.