The extension uses a bit.ly URL to reach its C&C, but the URL path is nowhere to be found in the extension code. In fact, it will obtain this path by using comments posted on a specific Instagram post. The one that was used in the analyzed sample was a comment about a photo posted to the Britney Spears official Instagram account.
The extension will look at each photo's comment and will compute a custom hash value. If the hash matches 183, it will then run this regular expression on the comment in order to obtain the path of the bit.ly URL:
Looking at the photo's comments, there was only one for which the hash matches 183. This comment was posted on February 6, while the original photo was posted in early January. Taking the comment and running it through the regex, you get the following bit.ly URL:
Looking a bit more closely at the regular expression, we see it is looking for either @|# or the Unicode character \200d. This character is actually a non-printable character called 'Zero Width Joiner', normally used to separate emojis. Pasting the actual comment or looking at its source, you can see that this character precedes each character that makes the path of the bit.ly URL:
smith2155<200d>#2hot ma<200d>ke lovei<200d>d to <200d>her, <200d>uupss <200d>#Hot <200d>#X
Leave Britney's Command and Control Server Alone!
Turla's watering hole campaign: An updated Firefox extension abusing Instagram
3 CommentsTags: computers, conspiracies, mad science, pranks, regexp, spam
Turn your doodles into meat
I feel like these Deep Dream-esque nightmare generators are like the computer version of anti-Semitic and racist political cartoons: "This is what Humans look like, ha ha". The machines are insulting and libeling us.
Image-to-Image Translation with Conditional Adversarial Nets. Their interactive demos aren't working any more, but someone made another one here.
Cyriak has some good ones:
And there's an octothorpe category:
Tags: art, computers, doomed, eyes, glitch, mad science, mutants, parts, perversions, teeth