Cybercriminals are reportedly selling fully functional botnets, capable of launching DDoS attacks, on Instagram. Multiple reports suggest that hackers have converted Instagram into a personal cybercriminal shop where they can sell botnets and stolen user accounts. Cybercriminals have also reportedly been advertising stolen Spotify and Fortnite accounts for sale on the social media site.
Some cybercriminals were reportedly spotted advertising botnets they claim to be linked to the infamous Mirai botnet.
It is currently unclear as to how powerful or dangerous these botnet packages may be. However, hackers have allegedly been offering subscription plans for those interested in purchasing botnet servies. Some also use the Instagram Stories feature to advertise hacking tools, Motherboard reported.
Root Senpai, who sells various hacking-related products on Instagram, confirmed various information about the hacker community on Instagram. “There is a lot of people in the community on Instagram,” Root Senpai told Motherboard, adding, “there are a lot of kids on Instagram that is [sic] willing to buy botnet spots, mostly kids that play on console.”
Senpai, however, refrained from answering questions related to methods used to obtain the botnets being sold.
This new trend of selling cyberweapons on Instagram raises questions about the content hosted on the social media platform. However, this could also help cybercriminals offer more lucrative deals and expand the hacker community’s reach.
According to Motherboard’s report, one Instagram user, included a screenshot of their botnet control panel, with the text “hmu [hit me up] for spots.”
Apart from botnets, stolen gaming accounts have also reportedly been advertised on Instagram - something that appears to be of more interest to potential buyers. While stealing and selling gaming information is not uncommon, this was usually done in underground forums. Now, however, cybercriminals appear to be blatantly flaunting their wares on social networking sites, particularly on Instagram.
Both Spotify and Fortinet accounts remain popular among illegal merchants and buyers. Selling stolen accounts can sometimes provide buyers premium access to such services, without even alerting the actual account owner.
One important thing to note is that hackers involved in the sale of this kind of information are not trying to hide. They tend to speak openly about the product they are selling and follow each other to keep an eye on the competition. This has resulted in the development of an entire hacking community on Instagram.
Meanwhile, Instagram appears to be aware of how it is being misused by cybercriminals. An Instagram spokesperson said to Motherboard that it is investigating the issue and will remove any content violating its terms.