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Instagram virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Malware

Instagram virus – a group of malware targeting user's accounts

Instagram virus reborn 2018

Instagram virus is a term used to describe a group of malware[1] that circulates on the giant social media platform. It emerges in the form of advertisements and fake Instagram feeds. In 2016, a group of cyber criminals managed to crack Instagram's scam filter and started distributing “Instagram Ugly List 2016” feeds on behalf of compromised account's user.

Questions about Instagram virus

Soon after that, Zeus-related Instagram virus has been released. According to experts, crooks target users' accounts and start following people and like posts following the hack. Camouflaging Facebook, criminals also developed Who Viewed Me on Instagram? Scam, which may be used for the collection of user's names, log in details and other personal information. At the end of 2018, a new wave of Instagram virus related to RayBan ads showed up. 

Instagram virus removal

Name Instagram virus
Classification Malware
Variants The Ugly List 2016 scam, Instagram followers virus, Who Viewed Your Instagram Profile virus, and RayBan Instagram virus 2018
Symptoms Suspicious post, ads, news feed, and similar content posted on your behalf
Distribution Bundling, malicious links, compromised software
Elimination To get rid of the Instagram virus from your device, run a scan with Reimage and the re-configure Instagram's settings

You probably have already heard about malware variants such as Facebook virus or Skype virus; in this article, we are going to define different forms of Instagram virus and provide information on how to protect yourself from malware that targets users of this social media application.

If you suspect that your device has been infected, we suggest you follow Instagram virus removal guidelines (provided below the article) and remove the malicious program as soon as possible. You should also scan the device with anti-malware software – recommended ones are provided below the article.

Adidas ads scam

Instagram virus variants

The Ugly List 2016 scam. It is a new virus that rapidly spreads through Instagram with the help of infected accounts. The virus uses the compromised account to post a picture that says “Instagram Ugly List 2016,”[2] and tags random victim’s friends in the picture with a short comment “LOL how did your profile on the list,” “omg your profile on the list,” “this is crazy all you guys are there” or “wow u made the ugly list.”

If you have been tagged in such picture, do not click on such notifications. Typically, such malicious posts provide a URL that points to a malware-laden website, which steals user’s login details. A stolen account then is used for further virus proliferation. Please do not click on such eye-catching links and do not let your curiosity lead you to sites that compromise your social media account. If your account has been hacked, try to change your password, and if you can’t, report the problem to Instagram.

Instagram followers virus. This virus is closely related to the infamous Zeus virus, which was initially used to steal credit card information from victims. Now the virus hacks Instagram accounts and converts them to zombies that follow people and like their posts.

So, if you have noticed suspicious posts in your Instagram feed, you should quickly change your Instagram password and also remove Instagram virus that has your permission to like posts and follow people on your behalf. You should also take these permissions back by revoking app access.

See who views your profile scam

Who Viewed Your Instagram Profile virus. There are bogus apps that falsely claim to be able to reveal people who viewed your profile on Instagram. Of course, all of us are curious, and it would be interesting to find out who repetitiously visits our social media accounts, but… Instagram does not provide such feature and third-party apps that promise to reveal names of people who visit your profile are simply lying to you. For example, apps like InstaCare – Who cares with me? or Who Viewed Me on Instagram? are developed by Turkyer Bayram – the same person who has created the infamous InstaAgent application that stole users’ login details and even posted unauthorized posts via victims’ accounts.

RayBan Instagram virus. The Instagram community started expressing their concern about misleading ads offering discounted Ray-Bans or Ray-Bans for 90 percent. Ads that keep interrupting users' feed and tag them every day were spotted in the middle of April 2018. 

Initially used on Facebook, the Ray-Ban scam turned to Instagram users. Therefore, the users of this particular platform should beware of a constant stream of friends tagging you and your relatives to buy luxurious Ray-Ban sunglasses with a great discount. Sometimes the RayBan Instagram virus manifests itself in the form of sponsored ads. However, people most frequently witness a photo from a friend with a group of people tagged in. 

RayBan Instagram virus

According to ESET researchers, this type of scam has been actively distributed via spam emails and targets UK, Japan and Spain users in particular. NoVirus.uk[3] security experts claim that there are two possible reasons for the fake Instagram photos and ads, i.e., account hack or malware infection. Therefore, if you noticed questionable content related to RayBan, scan your PC with a reputable anti-virus and change your account's password.

Malicious email and malware may be at the back of this infection

Although attacks against Instagram users is still not a very common phenomenon, we are sure that you have been tagged on shady pictures on instagram at least once. Accounts that tag random users on photos that promise thousands of likers and followers typically urge to visit a particular website, which often appears to be untrustworthy or even malicious.

You should never click on vague links unless you know that the Insta account that advertises it is legitimate and trustworthy. The second thing to remember is that applications that promise you unique access to the list of people who viewed your profile are usually deceptive, and you should stay clear of them.

You should never provide your login details to suspicious apps that promise to enormously increase your followers (they usually add bots that Instagram deletes after a while, so consequently you lose followers that you paid for). If you want to gather more followers and likers, focus on the content you pose, and better do not rely on suspicious vendors that suggest buying a pig in a poke.

Learn how to remove Instagram virus

If you suspect that your mobile device has a virus, you should scan it with anti-malware program compatible with your device. Suggested programs are Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner. Finally, you should follow instructions provided below to finish Instagram virus removal and get rid of virus’ remains.

  1. The first thing that you should do is to revoke and block suspicious apps that have permissions to act on your behalf and control your Instagram account. Log in to your account via web browser. Don’t use the application – use a web browser.
  2. Go to your profile, then click Edit Profile. Next, click on Authorized Applications.
  3. Here, you can find a list of programs that have access to your account. You can find Revoke Access button below each of these programs. Click it and hit Yes when a confirmation pop-up appears.
  4. Change your password.

In case you cannot log in to your account, contact Instagram directly.

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Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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