Instagram has disabled hundreds of accounts that have been stolen as part of online hacking operations designed to access and sell rare and coveted usernames.
Both TikTok and Twitter have also taken action on some accounts belonging to the same hackers, according to To report Journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs.
The Facebook-owned platform focuses its eyes on the community surrounding the OGUsers website, known for trafficking in stolen user names, and helps facilitate the penetration of these accounts through methods, such as switching the SIM card.
A Facebook spokesperson said: Today we remove hundreds of accounts linked to OGUsers who harass, blackmail and harm the Instagram community, and we continue to do everything we can to make it difficult for them to take advantage of Instagram usernames.
The disclosure is notable because it is the first time that the platform has shared public information regarding supervision against username hackers.
And earlier this week, Instagram released a new feature allowing people to recover deleted posts, in case a hacker took control of their accounts and deleted them.
Krebs reported that the campaign was a joint effort, as Twitter and TikTok also took action against popular members of the OGUsers community at the same time via these companies’ platforms.
As part of our ongoing work to find and stop dishonorable behavior, we recently recovered a number of TikTok usernames, and continue to focus on countering the ever-evolving tactics of bad actors, TikTok said.
In addition to disabling accounts that were stolen and rendering them worthless, social platforms have also disabled some accounts of well-known OGUsers who act as intermediaries during username transfer transactions.
OGUsers made headlines last summer when a small group of hackers linked to the site allegedly participated in an unprecedented hack against Twitter.
The Twitter hack involved resetting passwords across the accounts of dozens of high-profile individuals and companies, and using access to run the Bitcoin scam.
Rare usernames tend to be single words, letters or numbers in rare cases, and can fetch tens of thousands of dollars in the underground markets for stolen digital goods.
And because platforms like Instagram and Twitter have rules that prohibit buying and selling accounts, hackers interested in buying one of these coveted names often resort to illegal means to obtain it.