Instagram has banned hundreds of accounts with desirable usernames after an investigation revealed hackers and scammers stole them from their original owners through extortion and blackmail. Members of the forum ogusers.com coordinated on the site and via Telegram to hijack accounts with short, recognizable usernames via SIM swapping, a type of phone-based hacking, and through targeted harassment of the people who first created the accounts, The New York Times reports. The social media company banned nine cybercriminals who took control of the accounts as well as the middlemen who helped the masterminds sell the handles. Twitter and TikTok participated in the investigation that led to the ban and took similar actions.
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