In this digital age, unless you’re living under a rock, your entire life is online. Your images, videos, friends, emails, banking details, texts and everything you hold dear – are all one bad password away from being public knowledge. This is my story on how, by being a smartass, I got hacked (at least I’m 98% sure I did).
Facebook has an underbelly. Being one of (if not the) the biggest databases of personal information it is a mecca for the worst type of people, scam artists and SoundCloud rappers. You’ve all heard the tales of the Nigerian Prince who needs to hide his millions of US dollars in your account, and the lonely heart attacks. With every version and every failure, they get better, smarter and more conniving. Now, being of a corporate IT background, I know this. But still, I got duped!
I was minding my own business, working on some things for an upcoming campaign for a client. Along came a friend request from Jessica Kriel. She and I had friends in common and she didn’t have the tell-tale signs of a scam account (big boobed profile photo, very specific full named profile etc.) so I thought, sure, I’ll accept.
I got a Messenger inbox very shortly thereafter from this entity.
Hi, are you single? I’m from Shepparton
Lovely, I thought. I’ve seen James Veitch’s video’s about going along with the scammers for a laugh, so I thought I would too. A few messages past and I find out that the entity wants to video chat, so I accept, hoping and praying it’ll be a Russan man with a beard or a fellow of Asian descent. No, it was an attractive female – different from her profile photo, but still.
She then proceeded to go from zero to naked in around 3.4 seconds. Shocked and amused, I took some screenshots, shared them to friends with the explanation and, ultimately decided to be a smart ass back to her and keep the ‘game’ alive.
When it comes to passwords and online security, I know it all, if not, most. I know the benefit of passphrases instead of passwords, multi-factor authentication etc. but it’s all a bit too much work at the end of the day. This was my downfall today.
My Facebook profile settings are set to pretty much open – my information was set to Public when it comes to the privacy settings. Little did I know that this Jessica Kriel was working with someone fairly switched on. They took my email address that’s on my Facebook profile and then got to work. Whilst I was ‘being a smart ass’ James Veitch style, they were busy trying all their tricks to hack my email and therefore get some access to my accounts.
Turns out, they had some luck! Whilst I wrapped up my 5-8 minute interaction with Jessica Kriel, my accounts were being violated. Spidering access was being given across my internet world!
I’m going to be thinking (and spending) a little bit more on my security from now on, as from what I’ve been able to tell, those violated accounts are:
I called my bank and let them know, to which they sprung into action and proceeded to ask me 1.3 million questions to verify I am me, then went to work securing my net banking (well done CommBank), so I’m rather positive my money is safe. However, through my Google and iCloud accounts successfully being hacked – God knows what videos and images of me surface 4Chan style. The main thing is – I’m not into anything illegal.😆
Take online security seriously, use random password generators and encrypted password managers to store them. Don’t use a password more than once and change them regularly.
I was exactly today years old when I realised that this type of attack was getting around. If I can be hacked, you can too – and I don’t want that. Be safe, be cautious and leave the funny business with scammers up to James!