Loreta Jasilionyte Instagram account Hacked: is every Lashmaker under Threat now?Posted on Mar 07, 2019
Hacked Instagram account of lash star Loreta Jasilionyte stirred the professional community and raised vital security questions.
Lashlandia found out why it is so hard to get back an Instagram page and how to protect online accounts.
News that the professional Instagram account of Loreta Jasilionyte, the founder of Flawless Lashes by Loreta brand and academy has been hacked emerged on February, 24.
The company unveiled its new page and asked followers to spread the word about the malicious attack.
With more than 88 thousand followers and hundreds of posts one can only wonder how significant the account was for Flawless Lashes.
«This account is essential to our business and is the result of years and years of hard work,»
the company stated insisting that the Instagram page has turned out to be not only the selling point for its products and services but also «a support system and a community for Lash trainers and lovers all over the world.»
“I thought it was just a bad joke”
Loreta whose name has become synonymous with the Flawless Lashes success told Lashlandia that she knew the attack was about to happen as a hacker sent her a message claiming that he took over her account.
«This person tried to extort money from me but I did not take it seriously. I thought it was just a bad joke,» Jasilionyte said.
Her account was secured by two-step verification system which means no changes cannot be made until you enter the code automatically sent to your phone by Instagram.
But it didn't help: very soon she could not login to the account.
The principal online page of her long-standing business was out of control.
- What did you do to regain access?
- Unfortunately Instagram is very slow on these issues. And you can’t talk to people directly as all requests are processed by bots which is unsettling.
Once I wrote to their support center, they asked for a photo of me with hand-written code piece that they sent before.
But you know, you have to write it down with a very thick text marker, that’s the only way the bots can understand it.
Then they ask you to send your email or phone number that you used to sign up to the account.
I sent everything they requested so for now I can just wait what happens next. And all these automated replies just drive me mad!
«Shockingly poor» Instagram support
Loreta hopes to get back to her Instagram page in the nearest future but past evidence shows that talks with Instagram over hijacked accounts may well last for months if not years.
Moreover it seems like account takeovers are on the rise recently.
In August 2018 a number of media outlets reported that Instagram was hit by a mysterious spate of hacks that left an array of users being locked out of their accounts.
People reported their username, profile picture and bio being changed while no content was edited or added in most cases.
Instagram spokesman said the company is «working hard» to resolve the issue while a user bemoaned that the company's support service has been «shockingly poor», according to the UK newspaper The Independent.
«The maze that Instagram sends you on to get your account back is laughable,» another person whose account has been hacked told the US tech news website Mashable.
Another desperate user vividly described her struggle with Instagram on online publishing platform Medium also slamming the company's puzzling communication process.
Followers could get updates on her story until finally she regained access after 7 months of vigorous attempts.
«It's not your competitors. Maybe you're just unfortunate»
Loreta Jasilionyte got scores of messages online voicing support for her fight against hackers.
Many people in the industry are disturbed by the news and are afraid of their own security.
It's a really big deal since social media platforms have become a key part of online marketing strategy.
What to do to protect your accounts?
How vulnerable are beauty artists around the world in the face of the cyber threat?
Lashlandia asked an ex-hacker to explain what is happening on the back door of the social networks.
- First of all, who are hackers and what do they aim for?
- A hacker is someone who breaks into protected networks bypassing their security protocols. Hackers have been for a long time and there are no signs they they will cease to exist. It's because every system has flaws no matter how perfectly it is built. It's just a matter of time. Hackers can hunt for vulnerabilities for months.
- Why are they doing this?
- Intentions are different. There are so called white hat hackers who want to reveal security holes so that the company can fix them.
Of course they want money for that. Sometimes they can even be a firm employees or contractors. For example, Tesla pays these hackers from 10 to 15 thousand euro for each flaw that they uncover. It is completely legal. Instead black hat hackers are illegal.
They get their feet into computer networks just to get money. They want to get paid in bitcoins so that the transfer remains anonymous.
They usually get 2 bitcoins (around 6800 euro) for a big Instagram account.
- Why not all hackers are white hat?
- Because it’s more interesting to be a black hat hacker. Many people think that it’s their competitor who attack their accounts. But in most cases it’s just money. Maybe you’re just unfortunate.
- What to do when someone writes you that your account is hacked and ask for money?
- When a hacker writes a message like that it means that he is just about to take over your account – or perhaps he's already there. I would recommend changing password in the first place. It wins you time because if they are not there yet they will need to encrypt the password again.
In case of Loreta I think they were spying on her computer. She had a two-step verification system which is rather secure. So they needed something else to get access.
What would you advice for those who wants to enhance security of their social media accounts?
Try using a 1Password app that remembers all your passwords, stores them for you and generates new ones so that your accounts remain safe . You if manage your passwords manually, change them at least once a month for more security.
Loreta Jasilionyte who is one of the top artists and educators in the industry founded the Flawless Lashes training academy in 2012 and one year later entered the retail business. Her cognominal online store was voted ‘Best Eyelash Product Supplier’ for professionals in 2014 and 2015 by influential Lash Inc magazine.
P.S. The article will be updated as the story unfolds. Stay tuned!
New update 29-03-2019: