Reviews

Of Hackers and the Hacked!

By Ahmet Abdulaziz……..

 

Today I received an email with the subject  “URGENTLY SECURITY ALERT”. The email was sent from “account_user@hotmail.com. As I opened the mail I found the message which I post hereunder.

“ Your Security info is no longer working. On 25/12/2017 our system found that your security info is no longer working. Starting from 30/12/2017 you won!t be able to sign in to your account unless you fix security information. To fix your security info. UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT NOW”.

I was supposed to click on  UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT NOW, but I did not. Honestly speaking I think that  this has been sent by a hacker, and I do not want to fall into this trap.

However looking on the other side, this email may also be a very correct mail, and I may not be able to sign in after 30th December, if I do not CLICK.

My decision for NOT accepting this as a genuine email, is based due to my past experience, which I would like to share here.

About  8 or 9  years ago, I had received an email, asking me to CLICK on a particular link, to update my information. The mail had come from some HOTMAIL TEAM.  I clicked on that link, without thinking that it might be a trap. As I clicked on the link, another window opened, asking me to once again sign-in. Without realising the well laid trap, I once again signed in by writing down both my email address and the password. The window closed, after I finished the sign in process.

That was all, as my hotmail account did not open at all. I tried and tried  without any result. Only then I realised what had actually happened. I had fallen into the trap of a hacker. My email account had been hacked.

There was nothing else for me but to wait and see, what might happen.

After about a couple of hours, my wife phoned me at my office. She told me that a friend of mine had phoned her at home, from Pakistan, and asked her if everything is alright, to which she replied that everything was OK. Then he asked her about myself, and she told him that I was in the office. Then my friend told her that he had  just received a mail from myself, telling him that I had been in some African country for some official meeting, and had lost all of my money there. He was asked to send 3000 dollars to some particular address in that African city, so that I would buy my return ticket. My wife told my friend that there must be something wrong, as I  had not gone to any African country, and I had been in my office since that morning. (My wife by that time did not know that my account had been hacked)

That was the plan of the person behind the HOTMAIL TEAM.

He had sent the same letter from my side to all the email addresses, that were there in my account, with the same message. Asking each of them to send 3,000 dollars to that particular bank in that African country.

Shocked as I realised the severity of the situation, I started contacting my friends on the phone one by one, to tell them about what had happened. Some of them had already received such a  mail from the hacker, whereas some had not.

Of course I did not have the phone numbers of all of those whose email addresses were in my account.

To date, none of the people I I knew had mentioned to me that they had sent any money to that particular bank account, as mentioned in that email, thinking of helping me.

But all that had happened, gave me a chance to think about how cleverly the hackers work.

I started thinking about how that hacker works. It was obvious that he was a master of his field. He was just acting in the light of the simple logic and  human psychology.  He had played his game very simply, knowing that everyone is always concerned about the chances of his/her account being hacked. So everyone is always concerned about how to make the account safe. This is the exact point where the hacker in fact actually played his game. He had used the name of HOTMAIL TEAM, to make the offer more genuine and serious. It clicked, in my case, and of course many more would not have fallen into the trap. But of course many like me would have fallen into the trap.

Just thinking wildly, if that particular hacker had send a few hundred (lets presume 100) emails to persons like me. I further presume that out of these 100 receivers of the mail, just 10 believed and fell into the trap, and ended up letting their account be hacked. Now let’s further assume that each of these 10 account holders had 50 email addresses of friends etc in their account. That makes 500 people to whom the hacker had sent the REQUEST, asking them to HELP BY SENDING 3,000 Dollars to that particular bank account.

Even if I assume that only ONE person out of these 500 persons had really believed  the contents of the REQUEST MAIL, and had sent 3,000 or less dollars to that particular bank account in Africa, looking from the point of the hacker, its not a bad deal. He might have got 3,000 dollars in his bank account, in a matter of a few hours labour of sending the mails, etc. Not a bad business.

Just think these hackers, do constantly work on such ideas, and send such emails world over. I simply cannot understand, how much they do earn. What do you think?

Or maybe the email that I received today is in fact a genuine email, and I must update my security information, without which I would not be able to sign in after 30th December 2017. It is a big question mark, until that date. The reality will be exposed only on 31st December.

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