[Update] Tech Researcher Who Exposed Instagram’s Plan To Lock In Usernames Is Also Getting Rape Threats From Cyber Squatters

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[Update] Tech Researcher Who Exposed Instagram's Plan To Lock In Usernames Is Also Getting Rape Threats From Cyber Squatters

Following the reports that a tech researcher has received a death threat after she uncovered a new Instagram feature that would prevent cyber squatter from taking over a username, the female tech guru has now posted that she too was threatened with rapeby people who are pissed of the new Instagram update.

In a new update in her Twitter thread where she said that someone sent her death threats after uncovering Instagram’s plan, Jane Manchun Wong posted yesterday that other people have threatened to rape her showing that the “feature is upsetting these cybercriminals.”

Wong, a Singapore-based tech researcher, have uncovered numerous unreleased features from different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and she posts them in her Twitter account to inform her followers of what new updates are possibly coming. Early Wednesday, Wong posted about her discovery on the test being made by Instagram where the photo-sharing social media platform would start locking old usernames for 14 days after changing so the previous owner can revert to it within the grace period.

She immediately got a hate message following her findings when an anonymous account sent her direct messages invalidating her work and made racist comments against her referring to her as “you Asian. One of the “squatters” seem to be very upset about what Instagram has set in place to put an end to an activity that affects millions of its users and lashed out on Wong. The Twitter user, whose name was blocked out by Wong in her tweet, said that she (Wong) has “literally nothing to do with Instagram.”

“You ain’t shutting shit down you Asian,” the supposed hater wrote to Wong.

This time, as the news about the update that Instagram is testing becomes more public following Wong’s research, the tech expert said that there a people who “spend all these energies sending all these see screenshots below), despite [the fact that] I don’t work at Facebook and Instagram and did not create this feature. And I’m just reporting what I see.”

One Twitter user called Wong “baby” and said that he would put his genital to her throat and have her “enjoy that one service called professional nigga nerves and “lou” dicking service everybody is talking [a]bout.” Another Twitter user, whose identity was blacked out by Wong said that he would have the tech expert killed to make her regret everything as a response to her clarification that she did not create the feature and is only passing along what she has discovered.

Experts believe that there are individuals who commit cybersquatting to sell their collected usernames for profit and it has been an on-going trade all over the internet. Not only that once a username is squatted it prevents the previous owner from using it again, but it can become a potent tool for cybersecurity and identity theft.

One of the said cybersquatters have sent a degrading messaging to Wong on her Facebook account saying: “You think you can stop us? [emoji] [emoji] fucking Asian bitch, go eat some dog [clown emoji].” Another said that no matter if Instagram makes it hard for them to commit their crimes, they will be able to bypass any 2-step authentications that users or Instagram put up against them.

Jane Wong explained the responses she got from the supposed cyber squatters. She said that there really are people who take over phone numbers, then accounts related to it, to steal money and usernames, citing the report from Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, a tech correspondent from Motherboard, that talks about hackers who hijack phone numbers to steal cryptocurrency and unique Instagram handles to sell in a “shady underground market.”

In another post, Wong continued to warn users to user app-based two-step authentication and to beware of phishing.

“If you wonder why their responses are so extreme and why I strongly advise using app-based two-step authentication and beware of phishing, there are people out there who take over phone numbers, then accounts related to it, to steal money and usernames.”

Wong continues to urge Instagram to roll out the feature as soon as possible to stop cyber squatters from “ruining Instagram” and to protect users from those who plan attacks against them. /apr

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