There’s a new fruit-related trend sweeping Instagram. This weekend, the photo-sharing social network was hit with a deluge of brightly colored pictures of fruit smoothies of varying sizes, flavors, and colors. Some people even shared images of various berries, extolling their health benefits.
But don’t be tricked – your friends aren’t on a hip new diet. The fruity photos were all a result of a massive Instagram hack that found numerous people locked out of their own account by smoothie-crazy spammers.
No one is quite sure where the hack originates from, but there are some clues. When a person's account is compromised by the scam, their Instagram biographies are changed to insert a malicious link masquerading as a BBC article. Needless to say, you shouldn’t click the link found in infected users’ biographies – it may serve as a method of transmitting the virus.
Instagram released a statement following the hack. “Last night a small portion of our users experienced a spam incident where unwanted photos were posted from their accounts. Our security and spam team quickly took actions to secure the accounts involved, and the posted photos are being deleted.”
It’s important to note that while Instagram has deleted all the smoothie pictures, the social network did not restore any biographies that were changed by the hack. You may want to take a few moments to check your profile settings on the social network to make sure they haven’t been changed. And common sense should dictate that you should be especially careful clicking links that appear in others’ biographies for the near future – especially those that appear to redirect to the BBC.
This isn’t the first time the smoothie criminals have hit Instagram – a similar hack occurred last month. It's increasingly important to make sure that your smartphone is protected by antivirus programs. And should the hack happen again, let this article serve as a warning: You just can’t trust a social smoothie, no matter how many acai berries are in it.