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Hackers devise new online tricks

If you are a facebook user, then read on!

Nneoma Okwuonu, a student of University
of Uyo, got home from classes one afternoon, after an exhaustive
marathon of lectures. Just as she was contemplating what to have for
lunch, she heard a beep from her phone.
She opened the message, which turned out
to be a notification from her friend on Facebook. The message asked her
to click on a particular link and learn how to make fast money without
stress. She clicked on the link, and was redirected to another website,
where she signed up on the business portal to begin the process of
making money.
Concerned about the welfare of her
friends, she sent the link to them, so that they could also make the
‘cool cash’ which she was about to make.
A few minutes later, she got a
notification that her account had been compromised.
“A trusted friend sent a link to me,
inviting me to click on it to make money. I was referring my friends on
Facebook to ‘like’ and open the link too. After about two minutes, I saw
a pop-up message on my screen which read: ‘Your Facebook account has
been phished,” Okwuonu said.
“I could not access my account. The
hacker barred me from using it till date, and the worst is that he is
still manipulating that account,” she stated.
For Light Nwankwo, who is a marketing
executive with a bank in Port Harcourt, he woke up one morning to see an
unusual electronic mail message from his uncle, asking him to lend him
some money.
Nwankwo said, “I got an electronic
message from my uncle, Augustine Udeh, saying he had a car waiting at
the wharf for clearance and needed about $1000 to clear it. Knowing that
he could not ask me for such, I called him to tell him that his account
had been hacked. He had to change the password, but almost immediately,
they gained access to it again and sent viral messages to all his
contacts.”
Udeh, who was a former top  government employee, risked having his information and government secrets  divulged to the hackers.
About three weeks ago, a Lagos State
University graduate allegedly cloned the Facebook accounts of the
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala; wife of the Lagos State Governor, Abimbola Fashola; wife
of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Aisha Bala Muhammed;
and the Director, Abuja Geographical Information Systems, Jamilah
Tangaza, and used these accounts to solicit money.
Also, a young man was arrested recently
for allegedly impersonating a monarch on Facebook. He was arrested when
he went to withdraw some money from one of his victims.
According to a social media expert, Femi Lawore, social network accounts are mostly hacked through phishing.
“Victims get a mail or a post on their
walls telling them to view something of interest on social media through
a link. When they click on the link, it tells them to sign into their
social network account or a social media application. Usually, these
links do not lead to the real social media page.  When they submit their
social network login credentials, they are submitting it to hackers.
“Another popular way to have social
media accounts hacked is to use unsecured Internet connections or
computers (virus or malware infected computers). Through this, hackers
can hijack sessions and even lock the user out or change their
passwords, sniff unencrypted passwords and have it sent to them through
that same system, unknown to the computer user,” he said.
He added that some people reveal too much about themselves on social media making their passwords guessable.
Similarly, Sobowale Temiloluwa, a
digital risk management consultant, said online identity theft is the
fastest growing area of social media scam. “First is social hacking,
where a person hacks into social network accounts and starts soliciting
funds from the victim’s friends,” he said.
According to him, soliciting is done in
such a genuine way that the victim’s friends will come to his aid not
knowing his identity had been stolen.
“The second is through a duplicate
identity where a hacker creates another profile or page like the
victim’s and uses all his information (picture, school, date of birth
etc). The hacker then looks for people on the network that have similar
information and adds them. Friends unaware of this scam accept friend
requests from the hacker, then the impersonation and solicitation
begins,” he added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations
Officer, Ngozi Braide, said the police have been making arrests relating
to impersonation and social media crime, but she did not give specific
statistics.
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