How toxic! Russian hackers are using Britney Spears’ Instagram to spread malware

Given that she’s the Princess of Pop it’s sort of understandable that she might become a target for hackers, but a recent report has suggested that Russian hackers are using Britney Spears’ Instagram account to spread malware.

According to an article on Gizmodo, BritBrit’s Insta page is being targeted by a group known as Turla, which the site describes as “a hacking group that specializes in using malware for the purposes of espionage.” Eek!

Researchers from the security group ESET are said to have discovered a backdoor trojan that has been created by the group, although it appears that this hasn’t been deployed yet. These appear under the singer’s photos as spam comments, with ESET providing an example.


Thankfully, it seems that this malware isn’t all that dangerous. As Gizmodo note, Turla are attempting use a Firefox extension to create a backdoor that could give hackers access to a user’s computer.

Turla, they say, uses something called “watering holes,” a list of compromised sites that can distribute malware. However, what’s impressive here is that they’re using social media to contact their command and control servers.

As Gizmodo explains, “These servers send instructions and act as a repository for stolen information. Using an encoded coded comment on Britney Spears Instagram post, the malware could find out what URL to use to meet up with the server without actually including that information in the code of the malware itself.”

The malware supposedly scrolls through the comments on Spears’ Insta account, and seeks out those with corresponding hashtags. After finding the comment that it’s after, the malware converts the comment into a link, which then turns into a site that’s thought to be a Turla watering hole.

According to ESET, Spears’ Insta was probably targeted because of her 17 million followers, and it was all likely a test to see if wider organizations, such as governments and embassy websites, could be targeted.

Luckily, ESET are working with Firefox on a potential fix, so hopefully our internet will soon be stronger than yesterday.

As for Britney? Well, she’s too busy touring the world and getting to work (bitch) to get upset or fussed over some international espionage.

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