The Instagram account of the Loire Tourism Office was hacked: 80,000 euros were lost

Loire Tourism Development Agency regrets the financial loss of 80,000 euros after the hacking of the Instagram account in late July 2021. The organization complained. (© Illustration / AdobeStock)

Account Instagram nin ‘Loire Tourism Development Agency (ADT) idi pirate July 28, 2021. The hacker claimed that a ransom in return for giving him access to the organization at his own expense. ADT is predominant complain Roanne police station, Friday, December 10, 2021.

The hacker, who took control of his Instagram account, took the opportunity to change his account password. Its real owners can no longer access it. It was as if a robber had broken into their house and entered after changing the lock.

The hacker demanded a duplicate key (ie a new password) 800 euro ransom In the tourist office via WhatsApp messaging. According to the phone code “+256”, the person behind the blackmail is in Uganda.

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“Hey. I would give you back your account for 800 euros, ”the hacker offered to reset his Instagram password. (© Loire Tourism Development Agency)

ADT did not surrender and approached the police. “First of all, we don’t give money to bandits. Second, the Roanne police department advised us to prevent it, “he said Antoine Vermorel-Marques, President of the Invincible Unhappy Tourism Board.

It is the result of several years of strategic investment

“Instagram has become an important promotional destination for tourist destinations, and the topic of travel is one of the most popular and especially popular landscapes,” explains ADT. It has been available in this network since 2012.

Instagram focuses on the image. This is the perfect social network to promote tourism.

Antoine Vermorel-MarquesPresident of the Loire Tourism Development Agency

To attract customers, Ligerien’s tourism promoter relied heavily on Instagram, “without a doubt the most strategic social network to inspire tourists,” according to a re-investigation by We Like Travel, a firm that specializes in analyzing reports. between tourism and social spheres. network.

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The figures show the success of the Loire Tourism Office’s strategy to expand its community year after year. (© Loire Tourism Office)

In 2020, its ” Instagram account », Stressed the Tourism Office continuous increase in the number of subscribers, With a growth rate of 190% over the last two years from January 2019 to December 2020.

Compensation of 80,000 euros was paid

You need to be the first to gain followers on Instagram produces content. To this end, the Loire Tourism Office, such as Saint-Étienne, called on “influencers” to identify themselves, in addition to photos and videos produced domestically by ADT staff supported by a digital communications agency.

It can also be done by any user to increase their chances of growing in the audience sponsors the content. For a certain amount, the social network promotes sponsored content.

It is obvious that, all this represents a cost For ADT. And the sum of these investments a financial damage : By losing access to your Instagram account, you 80,000 euros It has become an investment every year since 2012.

“This is without taking into account the salaries of those who work on it,” said the president of the state-funded agency. taxpayer money.

Instagram doesn’t help

Antoine Vermorel-Marques decided File a complaint against X. At the Roanne Police Department on Friday, December 10, After several months of different and unsuccessful approaches to Instagram to recover a valuable password without ransom.

I am angry with the hacker, but also with Instagram.

Antoine Vermorel-MarquesPresident of the Loire Tourism Development Agency

“Half of the 80,000 euros invested to expand our account, or 40,000 euros returned to Instagram“, Defines Antoine Vermorel-Marques. But the platform does not help. “It’s as if your house burned down and your insurer didn’t pick up the phone,” he concluded. there was never an answer Despite his efforts, it is satisfactory.

It is very difficult to orphan about 18,000 subscribers with any content and lose the potential of tourism.

Antoine Vermorel-MarquesPresident of the Loire Tourism Development Agency

This accident is not an accident alone : “Other tourist destinations such as Nimes Tourisme, Cotentin Tourisme, Grenoble Tourisme and others were hacked by the same hacker. Whatsapp number is the same, “Loire said in a press release.

A fresh start

The old ADT account still exists. The hacker who controls him today did not write anything about it. That is why it is so abandoned.

“It simply came to our notice then new account“, Occupies Antoine Vermorel-Marques. From September 2, 2021, the Loire Tourism Office expresses itself with a new Instagramable identity: @ loire.story (and no longer “@Loire_story”).

Tuesday, December 14, 2021, brings this new account together 1793 subscribers, ten times less than the highest figure at the end of July. “The lack of visibility is noteworthy,” says ADT, and its president concludes: “Our department is experiencing growing tourist success. It’s a shame we braked like that. “

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