Some influential Instagram account users were hacked for ransom recently. Hackers demanded ransom in Bitcoins in order to release the users accounts. Accounts that were affected were influential accounts with large followings and a credible social influence. says “the hackers send a message to the target user demanding a random to release the account possession. Otherwise, they threatened to delete the account.” The email came from a hacker named “Pumpam” along with an email from Instagram letting users name that their account email address had been changed. Instagram was not very helpful to the users and users were only sent generic message responses. Unfortunately, many users were unsuccessful in getting their accounts back without paying the ransom, and some of those who did pay the ransom still had their accounts deleted.

If you are a victim of ransomware, here are some steps you should take:
1. Disconnect your machine and if you’re connected to a network, go offline. You don’t want to spread ransomware to any other devices.
2. Take a photo of the ransom note you received.
3. Figure out what kind of ransomware you are dealing with.
4. Do not pay the ransom. Even if you pay it (like some Instagram users did in this case), there is no guarantee that you’ll get your account/files back.
5. Do not provide personal information to anyone via email, phone call or text message.
6. If you have an IT department or MSP, contact them immediately.