Technology

Australian surf influencer Blaze Roberts rattled after X-rated photo hack

Australian surf influencer Blaze Roberts rattled after X-rated photo hack

An Aussie surf influencer has shared her traumatic ordeal after hackers commandeered her Instagram account before using it to distribute sexually-explicit images.

Blaze Roberts says she was initially sent a phishing email purporting to be from the social media platform asking for her to verify her account. But it turned out the email wasn’t sent by Instagram at all.

Hackers quickly gained access to the 18-year-old’s account where they began posting a barrage of X-rated images to her 40,000 followers.

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Instagram’s policy is to ask users to prove their identity by having them send a photo of themselves holding a code provided by the platform.

The hackers did this, with one being a bearded man and another a woman.

But Instagram failed to pick up that Ms Roberts was not the person in the photo.

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"For some reason Instagram didn't think it was concerning that three people had sent them different photos," she told A Current Affair.

"I kept messaging Instagram with screenshots and photos to try and send them the proof and they kept saying they didn't have enough proof and they didn't know what I was talking about."

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Ms Roberts said she’d since managed to reclaim her username, but not the account.

"As an adult this is definitely scary to me, so I couldn't imagine a child going through this,” she said.

A Current Affair contacted Instagram, but they did not wish to comment.

Technology expert Trevor Long told the program hackers target popular social media users for three key reasons: They want to ask for a ransom to give the account back; they want to scam followers; or they’ll aim to send followers to other sites.