Celebrated radio personality and showbiz kingpin Shaffie Weru has been a troubled man. Some time back, someone hacked into all his three social media platforms; Facebook and Instagram and even his Gmail account. He is yet to recover.
Fearing that this hacker would even hack his back accounts after a series of threats that he would drain them if he did not send him some huge ransom amount, Shaffie reported the mater to forensic experts. After some time, the name of the alleged hacker popped up. It was one Prosper Chirumbwa who was using three unregistered numbers, Airtel lines whose digits were given to Pulse.
“Hello, I am Jura. I have your accounts (Gmail, Instagram and Facebook). It is now apparent that unfortunately your tech team can’t help you out on this. Fortunately for you, I still have your account and I am willing to trade (if you are willing as well that is).
“I can easily send you your logins. However, if you aren’t willing, I will sell them online. Please respond to this message if you are willing to have the accounts back. Thanks,” in a phone text using the number 07352103**.
“Ok Jura, how much do you need,” Shaffie tagged on after which the culprit mentioned Sh30, 000 for the recovery of each account. A desperate Shaffie offered to pay about a half of the amount.
“Fair enough from your side but that’s only half of what I usually ask for. Add Sh10, 000 to that, and by today evening you will have everything,” the fellow responded.
“How on earth would someone have a unregistered line in this age and time,” Shaffie wondered as he narrated this ordeal, a puzzle that is still being handled by the police as Shaffie is yet to recover his Gmail account.
“It is really frightening to think that an a**hole is out there in the dark, chasing after your private life. That is scarier than death. We are living in such a scary age of technology; hackers have raided the social media.
The headline, “Hacked cell phone pics!” really conjures up the image of electronic espionage and danger, doesn’t it? Is there some sort of roving band of electronic masterminds targeting celebrities’ cell phones and social media accounts with the main purpose of hunting down their private details and personal life so that they can extort or expose them? Have you even heard of those who are specifically hunting for luscious nude pictures of socialites and starlets? These are the fears in this new age.
It is not only happening here but globally with Leslie Jones, of the Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters fame being the latest Hollywood victim to fall prey to a major hack, where personal information and photos were released. The star’s website was reportedly updated with photos of her passport and driver’s license. The hacker also updated the website with photos of Harambe the Gorilla. In addition to posting personal information, the hacker shared sexually explicit photos of Leslie from her iCloud.
Many Kenyan celebrities and prominent personalities have fallen prey to cyber hacking. Socialite Huddah Monroe has had her Instagram account hacked in the past and nude photos posted online. Radio and TV host Willy M Tuva also had his Facebook page hacked and used in black market dealings in the past. Size 8 and Churchill have also been victims of the dark world of evil-minded young people who are using their tech brains to negate the positives of social media.
Anyone can be a victim of hacking. One of the harsh realities of our now digitally interconnected lives is the constant threat of hackers trying to gain access to our systems. Anyone who uses the Internet is susceptible to the threats that computer hackers and predators pose. Discovering that your intimate conversations, pictures or texts have been splattered across the Internet for all to see is not only an invasion of privacy, but can also be damaging to your personal life and livelihood.
People don’t take social media seriously when it comes to security but they give up so much personal information to the networks that when they are hacked it can get nasty very quickly your seemingly harmless information such as holiday photos, latest purchases, locations and restaurant reviews can be a goldmine when they end up in the wrong hands. Cyber crooks are more and more interested in getting hold of this information as we get increasingly comfortable with sharing every aspect of our lives online. Information such as date of birth, mother’s maiden name, first pet, city you were born in, are all common phrases used by credit card companies and can be used to crack your credit card information. Don’t put it all out on social media.
The convenience of sharing photos with friends (and non-friends) through social networking sites and blogs is undeniable. Unfortunately, so are the dangers. Not only can photos be stolen and used by strangers, but many photos, especially those taken by phones or devices with GPS technology, contain tags that reveal exactly where the photos were snapped. In other words, if a parent takes a photo of his or her child playing at home and then posts it online, it’s possible for strangers to know exactly where they live. Stories of people’s online photos being used for nefarious purposes are easy to find. Fake accounts set up with your personal details and profile picture can be used for extortion and exploitation.
Cloud accounts have also come under fire as easily hackable. Many of us have our phones and computers synced to some kind of cloud account. We store photos, sensitive documents such as passwords, copies of birth certificates, title deeds and financial information on them. However, cloud storage is not as safe as we would want to believe. When something is stored in the cloud, you don’t have direct control over it. If someone manages to guess your password or finds a way to hack in, all your data could be compromised. Large organizations are particularly vulnerable, as they often store large amounts of sensitive information using cloud-based services. If a malicious third party manages to find a security hole, hackers can make off with vast amounts your sensitive data.