The Instagram account of a Cork business has been hacked, with hackers demanding a ransom of €10,000 to restore the account.
Charlene Corkery, owner of Box of Kindness, received what she believed was a legitimate message from Instagram on Sunday evening. The message claimed her Instagram account had breached copyright and asked her to click on a link to resolve the issue.
After following the instructions and providing her email address, Corkery was shocked on Monday to find that her business's Instagram page had been removed.
Corkery was subsequently contacted by hackers, who issued a significant ransom demand to restore the account.
"They basically said they would give me my page back, which is very important, for €10,000," Corkery said.
With the aid of a professional expert, Corkery learned that the hackers were operating from Russia.
Reluctantly she has now set up a new Instagram page for her business, losing the more than 14,000 followers she had accumulated on the original page.
According to Corkery, over 80% of her sales came through Instagram.
Corkery said her "heart is breaking" at the blow to her business.