Spammers show they give a fig about Instagram, launch fruit-based attack

The photo-sharing network gets hit by an unusually colorful spam attack, as pictures of fruit flood users' streams.

All Things Digital

Instagram went bananas Saturday.

A company representative confirmed in an e-mail today that the photo-sharing network had been hit by a spam attack -- an attack, we might add, that was perhaps a bit more colorful than usual.

It seems the photo-sharing network became flooded with photos of fruit, which were accompanied by a link to a marketing page for a fruit-based diet regimen.

Om Malik over at blog Giga Om reported on the smootie-ization of Instagram earlier, saying the link pointed to a bogus BBC News page with the headline "Tropical Fruit Burns 17 Pounds in 22 Days. Exclusive Offer for Readers."

That was followed by a post from AllThingsD's Mike Isaac, who included a screenshot of one of the spam postings (which we've included here), and by a post from The Next Web's Jon Russell, who reported that some users had received password-reset e-mails from Instagram that said the users' passwords "may have been compromised."

An Instagram rep sent the following statement to CNET:

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.

CBS Miami is reporting that link-shortener Bit.ly, whose service was used to generate the link included with the spam images, put up a page warning users that the link may be malicious.

It's unclear just how many accounts were mangoed, er, mangled by the attack.

Update, 2:21 p.m. PT: Adds info on Bit.ly warning page.

About the author

Edward Moyer is an associate editor at CNET News and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch.

 

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