Anybody using Instagram Saturday may have noticed a disproportionate number of fruit pictures appearing in the feed. This fruity development isn’t due to healthier eating habits on the part of users, but, rather, a spam attack currently affecting the photo- and video-sharing service.
The strange occurrence was first spotted by GigaOM’s Om Malik, who reported that spammers are taking over users’ accounts, posting photos of fruit and changing the uniform resource locator, or URL, in each bio. The link in the bio and accompanying photo will take users to a fake BBC page promoting a so-called miracle fruit diet.
“Ever seen this stuff? I guess its super healthy, im giving it a try. I saw it on Dr Oz's show! Link is in my bio #lovemyfollowers #health,” reads one fruit photo’s description, according to PCMag.com.
It isn’t yet known exactly how many Instagram users have been affected, but reports indicate that the bitly link used in the attack has been clicked on more than 35,000 times. Instagram has roughly 130,000,000 active monthly users. Instagram has already begun the process of combating the attack by sending out password-reset emails to many users affected. Additionally, bitly has flagged the link, warning users not to click on it.
“Earlier today 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,” an Instagram representative told The Next Web.
PCMag.com suggested that users go through their Instagram third-party applications list -- which gives people an idea of the websites that have access to their accounts -- and remove the privileges of anything that sounds out of the ordinary.
Meanwhile, AllThingsD pointed out Twitter was also hit with a so-called miracle diet spam attack this week. However, it’s not yet known whether the two attacks are related.