How my dog's Instagram account got hacked by a sex robot
It started off in an innocent way. I had decided to start freelancing full-time after a steady newsroom job and I needed an outlet for my "creativity" (aka boredom) between assignments and interviews. My dog, named Hunter S. Thompson (unpredictable, charming and often destructive) was a 10-pound Maltese Yorkshire Terrier. I was certain he was the cutest dog in the world. As most dog owners are. So I started an Instagram account to post photos of him.
My boyfriend said it was weird – but he did agree we had the most handsome boy. Because the Morkie world on Instagram is quite large, I was gaining followers quickly. After a two days, I was at 200 followers. I know that’s not a lot. Nowhere close to viral. But it was still shocking that total strangers were commenting on photos of Hunter. We were on our way to being famous. I pictured myself as a ruthless but caring dog manager, basically like Kris Jenner (but more annoying).
The night the hacking went down I was taking a writing class at U of T. During the 15-minute break, I logged onto Hunter's account, then logged off and switched to mine before class started up again. The class ended at 9 p.m. and I went home to pack for a trip to West Palm Beach the following morning.
The flight was early so I didn’t have time to post before heading to the airport. When I got to Florida, I tried to log in – but a message popped up to tell me that my username and password combination was incorrect. I tried again. And again. And again.
I was so upset. We were going to be fucking famous. And then our 15 minutes were ripped away, like going on The Bachelor and not getting a rose on the first night and then crying about it. (SIDE NOTE: WHY DOES EVERYONE CRY WHEN THEY DONT GET A ROSE THE FIRST NIGHT ?! THEY DONT EVEN KNOW THE PERSON WHO SENT THEM HOME??)
I complained about my account being hacked to the point that my mom and my best friend wouldn't respond anymore. (And my best friend would have definitely punched me in my face if she didn’t need a place to stay in Florida.)
"I've been hacked!"
They looked at me and rolled her eyes, as if to say, “Who the hell would even want to hack your lame dog’s account?” And although that was true, I was already typing out (and then deleting) heated rants to the Instagram team.
“How do I contact them? They don’t have a number! They don’t have an email!”
I finally figured out how to contact support by filling out on online form and waited for a response.
While I was waiting, I logged into my personal account to stalk celebs in a probably unhealthy and obsessive way like we all do. When I went to the search page, I noticed there was an account with the same display picture as Hunter’s, but it was under a different handle: @kimci10.
I clicked on it.
And it was the exact same as Hunter's account – same bio, same display picture, same photos – except I could see that my followers were dropping like flies.
“Someone actually took over Hunter's account!”
For those whose livelihood depends on posting on social media, having their accounts hacked can be detrimental. A Symantec article pointed to the growing trend in 2016, saying the amount of fake accounts is rising – and many of them are filled with adult content. With around 700 million monthly active users on Instagram, it has become popular with scam artists, who “lure users to their profiles in order to earn a commission through affiliate links to adult dating websites,” according to the Symantec article.
I kept an eye on my account for the next couple days and watched as it changed:
First, the photo of my pup sleeping on a blanket was replaced with a woman’s ass.
She was wearing a thong.
And then the bio had been changed to:
"My name Bridgette. Fuck me!"
And then the next day I noticed she had followed more than a thousand sex and porn-related accounts. One handle that is burned into my memory is @anonymousdick. The account, which I had to click on because of sheer curiosity, was as you might expect. It was just random dicks.
There was a long back and forth with the Instagram team as they required all the necessary info to prove I started the account. Then I emailed them back from my hotmail account (yes I still have one of those and I give it out to people I don’t like). And voila!
Got the account back but had to change the handle. And also had to unfollow the more than a thousand random dick accounts that the slutty robot had followed while my account was in her hands.
The point of this story is follow @lildoginthe6.