Miss England Held to Ransom by Cyber-attackers

The organizers of an English beauty pageant established over nine decades ago are being held to ransom by cyber-criminals. The Daily Mail reports that malicious hackers had targeted the organizers of Miss England on Tuesday night with a sophisticated online scam. 

Ms Beasley, herself a beauty pageant winner, said the social media account targeted had been used to raise money for charity.

‘On Tuesday night I was on Instagram and I got this message sent from what looked like Instagram admin. The message said I had broken rules and they were going to close the account down.

‘It included a link you could click to appeal the decision. I had no idea what it was all about as we only put good things and charity appeals on there. I clicked on the link and got another message saying it could see I was trying to access the appeal form and could I confirm my phone number, which I did.

‘I got sent a code which I then gave to them and then everything just went. The next thing I knew the whole account whizzed in front of me on my phone and the account was taken over.

‘The code exchange must have given him access to my instagram. Since then they have contacted me on my phone and someone claiming to be a ‘Grey Hat Hacker’, whatever that is. 

Action Fraud confirmed it had now passed details of the hack to the police, while Instagram said it would investigate. Facebook – which own Instagram – said it had acted as soon as it was brought to their attention.


Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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