Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Danny Hall’s Stolen Instagram Account

Danny Hall:

TLDR: some rich kid in LA now has my Instagram account because he got his friend who works at Facebook to steal it… and nobody at Facebook or Instagram is doing anything about it

I’ve had the Instagram account @danny since it launched (10 years ago!). I guess its a pretty sought after @. I get loads of spam, password reset/login attempt emails etc. So I have it protected with a strong random password and 2 factor auth

Via Michael Tsai:

After the story gained traction, he got his account back, but without any explanation. It reminds me of this story (Hacker News) of a woman losing her Kindle books.

It also reminds me of “OG” account breaches, like this summer’s mass Bitcoin scam using high-profile Twitter accounts.

Along similar lines, I spotted a verified account impersonating Elon Musk yesterday. The account used to belong to an American politician,1 but was apparently hijacked by someone pushing a similar cryptocurrency scam. I was under the impression that major changes to verified accounts would be a red flag for Twitter, but I guess not. Perhaps that ought to be one of the restrictions of verification — major changes to an account’s profile picture or name could be subject to review.


  1. That’s not ideal in a U.S. election year, is it? ↩︎