Internet & Security

Russian Hackers Abusing Britney Spears’s Instagram Account

Things are getting sophisticated! As security researchers from ABAR discovered, Russian hackers are communicating with a new type of Trojan via Britney Spears’s Instagram account using user comments; they are using these comments to issue commands to their Trojan.

Russian hackers of the so-called Turla group have apparently used the Instagram account of pop star Britney Spears for communication with a control server Trojan. As security researchers from the software company ABAR found out, the hackers are hiding commands for this purpose in the user comments under, for instance, under a picture, you will find a secret code.

Britney is “too hot”
A user posted the comment under an image of the singer. These comments are contribution or reactions from the fans, as seen at the star’s Instagram page, there are thousands of these being posted every day. However, behind few malicious comments/string hides an address of the short URL service bit.ly. To get to it, users need the Unicode character “\200d,” which is usually defined as the distance between two emojis. Combining this with the first letter after a certain hash and one gets the Bit.ly address, which in turn serves to communicate with the new Turla Trojan.

Probably just a test run
So far, however, this has only been done 17 times, which is why the ABAR researchers are seeing it as a test run. The malicious software is a Firefox extension, which uses “HTML5 Encoding” and a JavaScript security hole to record and send data of the target computer activity. While the security researchers describe the communication via the Instagram comment as “highly interesting,” Firefox strives to put an end to this hype by the end of the year with a new type of web extension.

About the author

Adil Khan

Adil Khan

Adil Khan is a 30 years old Nerd who has been playing with his toys, computers and electronics, since the late 90's. His passion lies in the digital world of 1's and 0's i.e. until quantum computers are available for purchase :)

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