Is Social Media a Bait for Cyber Criminals?
October 02, 2010
in Social Media
A couple of months ago I got a phone call from an acquaintance, Doread at around 2:00 a.m in the morning, I thought it was outrageous and impolite that he would call at such a late hour, only to learn that he was calling to check up on me. Someone has sent him an instant message on Facebook telling him that I was dead and that condolences would be held at my house for the following three days. It wasn’t until a few minutes later than my cell phone was ringing off the hook and I began to freak out, I had no access to my Facebook, email or any connection to the outside world. I logged into a friends Facebook only to find out that a person has changed my status, created a group and sent all of my friends an instant message announcing me dead.
By 5:00 a.m I was hysterically crying, I couldn’t fall asleep, because it had gotten to the point that my phone wouldn’t shut up and I was too scared to fall asleep and possibly never wake up so I pulled an all nighhters and asked some of my friend and students to spread the word and let people know it wasn’t true until I filed a got complaint with Facebook that my account has been hacked and that someone has been impersonating me, and I pretty much had to do the same procedure with my mail service provider.
Within 24 hours, I had my email and Facebook back and changed my password combinations to make them as difficult to crack as possible and decided to sleep on it, in about five years, I wasn’t hacked once or impersonated so I figured it was time for a password change, but then tonight something went different. My friend Anas called me up around 10 and told me he’s account has been compromised, I was worried as I knew the password combinations to his account, but he assured me that he wasn’t pointing fingers and just needed help resetting his password, of course I was more than happy to reset his password for him, and I took a screen shot of his Facebook reset where it specified the IP that has changed his account login credentials. I tried logging on to my Facebook and guess what it wasn’t there, my password was changed. I just felt lucky that I have my own private email that’s linked to my Facebook, so resetting my password took a simple click, but I went through the whole Facebook password retrieval process to find out that the same I.P that has changed the login details for my friend Anas has been on my Facebook as well.
I freaked out and sent a text message to a friend asking him if he could track down the IP, he said he could track it down to the ISP but not the user, and made it very clear to me that this is not to be taken lightly, and I quote: “The IP address you sent me traces back to Orange. So if you really want to purse this further, call them up. Most likely they won’t give you any information since it’s confidential, so you’ll just have to go to the police and they’ll be able to get a court-order. Again, that is if you want to take it further. If it were you I’d let it go this time. If it happens again, then its a different story though.”
At that point I figured, well if it happens again, it happens, but I realized am not alone, I logged into twitter and one of my friends Mary was suffering from a hacked account as well! Her twitter read: “Hacking my facebook fhimna,my hotmail fhimna,but talking 2 my friends, emailing them & impersonating me is just sick!” and that’s when I started wondering, how safe are we online? We’re just normal people so whatever is in our social network accounts is fun, games and texts back and forth between our friends and ourselves, so what makes our lives so appealing to hackers out there, and what do they get out of it?
When did Jordan become so unsafe and vulnerable online? And what actions should be taken to stop hackers out there from being part of people’s life?! I’m sure everyone’s offline life is as private as their online life, so there must be something that one can do to stop all of this…
What do you guys think?!
Director of Digital Marketing Strategy by Day, Blogger by Night. Mother to my lovely Hana and a food addict.
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