WA’s official Instagram account was hacked last night, sent spam messages to The Bachelor’s Matt Johnson

WA was hacked last night – well, the state’s official Instagram page, at least.

Followers of Tourism WA’s Instagram account @westernaustralia noticed some peculiar posting behavior last night after the account started sharing weird images and sending spam messages to users.

One of the people who received an alarming “copyright infringement” message from the official page, which has more than 530,000 subscribers, was none other than single Matt ‘Matty J’ Johnson.

Johnson took to his own Instagram account last night to alert his more than 260,000 fans to the hack, writing “someone is getting fired”.

Camera iconMatt Johnson shared this image of the hacked message sent to him last night Credit: Instagram
That was the message people received during last night's hack
Camera iconThat was the message people received during last night’s hack Credit: Instagram

“@westernaustralia… I thought you were smarter than that!” he wrote.

The Sydney-based reality TV star also shared an image of the messages he received from the Western Australia account, making it appear as if the tourism organization is accusing him of a violation of the copyright.

“Hello dear Instagram user,” begins the post.

“If you do not object to the copyright on your account within 24 hours, your account will be permanently deleted, you can access the appeal form by clicking on the link below.”

A recent WA tourism campaign.
Camera iconA recent WA tourism campaign. Credit: @westernaustraliavc/@westernaustraliavc

Tourism Western Australia confirmed the hack, with a media spokeswoman saying they were able to work with the social media platform overnight to regain control “in less than 12 hours.”

“We have contacted our stakeholders through various channels and alerted them to the breach and warned them to be wary of any post and content on the account while we resolve the issue,” the spokesperson said.

“We are aware that some of our subscribers may have received an overnight message regarding copyright infringement… we urge anyone who has received a message to remove it immediately and not click on any links.”

Facebook – which owns Instagram – assured the tourist organization that the data of its subscribers was “in no way compromised”.


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James F. So