Russian hackers used Britney Spears’ Instagram post to test malware, say experts

Denise Truscello/BSLV/Getty Images for Brandcasting, IncHere are two things you likely never thought you’d hear in the same sentence: “Britney Spears” and “Russian hackers.”  But those two worlds did indeed collide recently — although few people, least of all Britney, had any clue.

The tech blog Endgadget first reported the story, quoting a Slovak computer security company.  Apparently, as a way to test computer malware, Russian hackers hid some code in a post in the comments section on Britney Spears’ official Instagram, next to a typical photo of Britney being her sexy self.

The post itself looks like the usual badly-written, borderline-troll spammy nonsense we see every day.  Only in this case, the post — from user “asmith2155” — is a sort of key that the malware looks for. 

The nonsense post from asmith2155 actually contained specific characters and hashtags in a specific order.  When the malware found them, it basically decoded them and turned them into a short URL link that in turn allowed malware to connect to its nefarious controllers.  Clever.

According to experts, the Britney post was more than likely just a test of the whole arrangement.

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