I am a Tech CEO and this is How I got Hacked
You thought you are smart enough. It is not possible to get hacked because you use all the necessary precautions.
I have bad news for you.
Hackers can outsmart even the tech giants who take pride in building a multi-million-dollar business online.
This article tells a story of one such person. He is a CEO of Social media management company and got hacked on Social media itself.
Meet Ryan Holmes. His company takes care of the security of multiple social media accounts of people. Unfortunately, he has fallen victim to hacking on Social media itself.
Hackers sent a message to all the followers –
“Hey, it’s OurMine Team, we are just testing your security,
please send us a message.”
What caused the Hack?
The reason was not as simple as using a lame password. CEO was not naïve and used all the necessary security measures. Still, something went wrong. The reason was ignorance.
He connected the Twitter account to an application which he didn’t even use for several years.
That became backdoor for Hackers who gained access through the application to his Twitter account.
We often authorize several apps using Social media accounts. Sometimes, it is necessary, or sometimes it’s our laziness. Just to avoid taking pains to fill out the signup form, we prefer One click sign-in.
Whatever the case is, you must review the applications connected to your social account and de-authorize the ones you are no longer using.
Even though the Social media platform like Facebook and Twitter are not easy to hack but such third party applications can become a loophole. If any connected app becomes vulnerable, your social media profiles are at risk.
A notorious hacker group called Ourmine was behind this hacking attempt. They are known for targeting tech celebs to promote their commercial services.
Malware Inside Status Update
We are immensely cautious while accessing file attachments that came through email. However, Hackers have been taking a different route which is more sophisticated. I am talking about posting malware inside the status update on Social media.
It took only one attempt to hack into the computer of US Department of Defense official.
He clicked on a link attached to a Tweet which promised a family-friendly vacation package for the Summer. Once clicked, the visited webpage spread malware on the computer and all the connected computers in the network.
Technology is not always at fault. Human errors are more dangerous than software in cyber crimes.
Social Engineering is one such technique of manipulating people, so they give up confidential information.
Fired Employee Takes Revenge
There has been another instance where a small business owner became a victim of hacking by her employee. She lost everything in just few hours.
Even in this case, all the security measures were in place. The only mistake was that employer did not think that firing an employee will result in such bitter relationship.
The employee had many personal details about her which allowed him to access the Gmail account. After gaining access, he deleted all the email since last 10 years. It included important documents and many personal messages of sentimental value.
From Gmail, the hacker accessed two more Gmail accounts and one Yahoo! account. Once you have access to an Email account, many more accounts can be unlocked using “Forgot Password” feature.
He did not stop here but went on using Credit Card attached to Gmail account (linked for buying storage). He ordered a $500 worth Nokia N97 smartphone from the US to Europe.
Then, disaster went to the Twitter account followed by deletion of website database.
How to Safeguard Yourself
1. Never Trust anyone – Be protective about your digital assets and keep it private from your friends, employees and even parents. You never know what may go wrong.
2. Pump up your Password – I know it is tough to remember a complex password. Even Mark Zuckerberg became a victim because of lame password “dadada”. In our course, How to Become Unhackable, we have told how to set and remember complicated passwords.
3. Set-up Layered Security – As we have seen, there are many ways through which malware could attack. You better take care of each one of them.
4. Clicking can lead to Hacking – Be cautious about clicking on links on web and emails. With experience, our common-sense develops to be more intelligent while browsing the web. However, it is not the case with everyone. To help you, we have a separate chapter on How to determine online fraud activity yourself in Unhackable course.
It’s not just about Online Account
Our life is surrounded by technology- smartphones, Credit Cards, e-Wallets and much more.
To become aware of Digital security is a must for everyone in today’s cyber age. Security layers should be applied to all the aspects of our digital life.
We have created a Personal Cyber Security course called Unhackable which dives into each aspect. It is a comprehensive course that enables you to secure your digital life and make it hack-proof. Learn how to take charge of personal security and never become a victim of cyber crime.