Hackers from the popular social game Pokemon Go have taken the next step in their quest to capture Pokemon on Instagram, hacking into the accounts of more than 3,000 people and posting images of Pokemon, the game and even their own avatar to the app’s instagram account.
Hackers used tools to gain access to the accounts on Sunday, including a bot, a phishing email, and a “spoofing” attack, which spoofs the email sent by the account’s creator.
The hacks, which took place between the hours of Sunday, August 15 and Monday, August 16, appear to have been done from the account of a “buddy” who had hacked into the account on Friday, August 14.
Hacktivist group Anonymous, which has previously hacked into social media accounts of politicians, celebrities and journalists, said it was “appalled” by the attacks.
“This is an unprecedented breach of trust for any group that has been working to expose the real-world effects of our digital infrastructure,” said the group in a statement on Monday.
“We call on the world to stand together to protect privacy and security on the internet.”
Hackers have already been linked to other breaches of Instagram, including the hacking of the account used by popular US rapper Lil Wayne on August 15, and that of the accounts used by the US Navy and a US senator and a woman who worked at the US Secret Service.
It is unclear what, if any, effect these hacks will have on Pokemon Go, which is currently available for download on the App Store.
But the game has a strong following on social media and is currently the most popular smartphone game in the world.
The hacker group Anonymous has called for Pokemon Go’s creator, Niantic, to be prosecuted over the hacks.
“Pokemon Go is an incredible opportunity to promote the world-wide game of Pokemon,” the group wrote in a tweet.
“Niantic should be prosecuted for criminal breach of privacy and the violation of users’ rights.”
Pokemon Go has also been the subject of a number of attacks in the past, including one on Sunday which targeted the account for the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
But the hacking on Sunday was the first time that hackers had targeted the Instagram account of an Instagram user.
In a post on Instagram on Sunday morning, the hacker group said it had hacked the account “from within the Snapchat feed of a friend who recently visited”.
“He had used the account to share his birthday with friends, a shared photo, and then shared a video of himself playing the game,” the post said.
“The Instagram user had been playing the app and had not shared any of his personal information.
He had only shared the game.”
The account has since been restored and the hacker has not been identified.