Police are investigating after hackers took over Fredericton Tourism’s Instagram page and demanded a ransom.
Adam Bell, the city’s chief information officer, said officials had to contact Facebook directly to regain access.
The city regained control of the page Sunday after it was locked out Friday morning.
“They basically shut us out of our account and then asked us to pay them in order for us to get it back,” he said.
He said the city has a no-ransom policy. When it did not immediately pay, hackers posted a video of two women kissing using the account’s story function.
Bell said hackers were asking for $2,500 to return the account.
“Everyone in the city is extremely upset by the content that was put on our site,” he said. “We work very hard to establish a certain brand and anything that takes away from that is disturbing.”
Bell said hackers also began contacting followers of the page, offering to sell them the account for $400.
“They didn’t use us as a springboard to attack other people, but they did use the communication platform as an opportunity to solicit money from others who might be willing to buy the site from [them],” Bell said. The city of Fredericton posted a notice on Facebook asking people not to click on any links sent by Fredericton Tourism and to report the page to Instagram.
- Fredericton Tourism’s Instagram Profile Was Hacked and Police Are Investigating
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