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Instagram removes hundreds of accounts linked to username hacking



(Reuters) – On Thursday, Facebook Inc. took down hundreds of Instagram accounts that were hacked and sold for their valuable usernames, including accounts of people behind this activity.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the people involved in this groundbreaking practice were well-known people in a community called OGUsers, who change desirable usernames for popular sites from Twitter Inc. to Netflix for money and influence.

Usernames, which can sell for tens of thousands of dollars, are often short words for their lack, such as @food or letters such as @B. Social media companies including Facebook-owned Instagram have rules against the sale of accounts.

The people accused of participating in a major Twitter hack last year, when a lot of VIP accounts were hijacked, were also connected to this practice and online OGUs forums.

This was the first time Facebook shared its enforcement actions on this activity, even though they said they had continuously deleted accounts for this practice.

Twitter and the short video program TikTok also said. they had recently taken action against OGUsers to break their rules.

An administrator of OGUser's website did not immediately respond to a request for comment. They have previously said that the website bans trading accounts acquired through hacking.

The Facebook spokeswoman said that phishing and SIM swapping ̵

1; where hackers gain access to a phone to access the accounts associated with it – were popular ways to steal Instagram usernames. But she said Facebook had also seen an increase in methods such as harassment, extortion, sex torture and "swatting" – incorrectly reporting an emergency that required police to respond to an address.

Facebook, which said it worked with law enforcement, said many people involved in this practice were minors. It said it had sent discontinuation and abolished letters to about a dozen people behind the hacking and sale of about 400 accounts. username buyers and sellers and takes some of the money, usually in bitcoin.

Twitter also permanently closed a number of accounts from the OGUsers network under its rules against platform management and spam, a spokesman said, adding that its investigation was underway. together with Facebook. A TikTok spokeswoman said it had recently recovered a number of usernames that OGUsers had registered for the purpose of selling them for profit.

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