Instagram on February 4, 2021, disabled hundreds of accounts/usernames that were stolen by an online hacking operation seeking to possess rare and unique usernames that are high in demand. TikTok and Twitter also joined Instagram in this operation as they took down more accounts belonging to same hackers.
This widespread trend of stolen usernames can be traced back to an online community called ‘OGUsers’, which is accessed by people to buy rare usernames. It also operates through high illegal methods such as SIM swapping – a technique where the intruder is able to gain access of your SIM.
Commenting on the same, a Facebook spokesperson said, “Today, we’re removing hundreds of accounts connected to members of the OGUsers forum. They harass, extort and cause harm to the Instagram community, and we will continue to do all we can to make it difficult for them to profit from Instagram usernames.”
To help the victims of this cyber crime, Instagram also recently released a new feature on its app which lets users recover deleted posts.
Twitter also recently suspended several accounts linked to the OGUsers network under its rules against platform manipulation and spam and is currently investigating this in tandem with Facebook. A TikTok spokeswoman said it had recently reclaimed a number of usernames that OGUsers had registered with the aim of selling them for a profit.