The hacked Instagram accounts of Nicole Scherzinger and Yanet Garcia directed users to survey scams and showed fake nudes
The hackers are continuing abusing celebrity Instagram accounts for their personal gain. This time, the social media account of a singer Nicole Scherzinger (3.9 million followers) and social media star Yanet Garcia (11.5 million followers) got hacked. After gaining the access to these accounts, malicious actors change the bio to a TinyURL or Bit.ly link that leads users who click on them to survey scam sites which offer allegedly free iPhone XS's and “much more” on the Instagram Story.
Just last week, Avengers star Robert Downey Jr. suffered from a similar Instagram hack – the celebrity managed to get his account back in a few days. The account is followed by 43.2 million people, and the scam looked virtually identical to the ones that affected Scherzinger and Garcia.
Hackers are keen to utilize Instagram accounts of celebrities, as millions of followers guarantee that at least some people will complete surveys, expose their personal information and download the promoted apps – all this would earn commission money for the criminals
Gift cards, iPhones and an unexpected bonus: Nicole Scherzinger's and Yanet Garcia's sex tapes
It seems like hackers are using more social engineering techniques in the recent hacks. In addition to shortened links which bring users to scam sites, cybercriminals also showed Nicole Scherzinger's and Yanet Garcia's fake nude photos and claimed that the sex tape would be released as soon as a certain number of downloads of the apps is reached.
The picture that promotes the fake giveaway is identical to the one of Robert Downey Jr.'s:
I'm giving away 2000x FREE iPhone XS' & MUCH MORE on my Instagram Story RIGHT NOW! Claim them before they're ALL gone!
The hacked accounts presented several shortened links, although all of them led to the same domain dudemobile.net. Criminals claimed that every follower who would download a promoted app would be eligible to view a sex tape of the celebrity (Scherzinger's account asked for 5,000 downloads, while Garcia's followers were asked to download an app 30,000 times).
This might seem like a great deal to some gullible followers, as they were also promised goods like free Fortnite V-Bucks, $1,000 Wallmart gift cards, H&M gift cards, iPhones, and other prizes. Without a doubt, it is all a scam, and none of the users would acquire
Deepfake technology suspected in making fake celebrity nude pictures
Nicole Scherzinger, who attended the Creative Arts Emmys last Saturday, was unaware that her Instagram account got hacked. In the meantime, 28-year old Yanet Garcia asked Instagram to help her get the hacked account back on Twitter:
HELP ME!!!! @instagram PLEASE!
My account has been hacked !!!! pic.twitter.com/qJLGWixi5b
— Yanet García (@IamYanetGarcia) September 16, 2019
Since the incident, both of the celebrities got their Instagram account back and deleted the fake nude pictures along with malicious links leading to a survey scam site.
It is believed that fake nude photos were made with Deep fake software – its subscription costs around $50. Nevertheless, developers claim that free versions online exist, and were released for “educational purposes” only. The technology that Deepfake uses is extraordinary – it can change human faces and body parts to look like something else.
This feature also includes “undressing” the female model, and is extremely easy to do with a picture of a female in a bikini, and celebrities have plenty of such images available online. Using Deepfake technology, fake porn also emerged in 2017, which was quickly banned by Reddit, Twitter, and Pornhub.
Instagram users, along with celebrities, should use precautionary measures to avoid social media account hacks:
- Use complicated passwords or install a password manager
- Protect your computer from info-stealing malware by using security software
- Employ two-factor authentication