Cyber criminals demand Alberta woman to pay ransom for stolen social media accounts

An ever-growing crime in Canada has hit a Calgary girl laborious.

Connie Hamilton is simply one of many newest victims of a cyberattack — one involving a ransom demand.

“I pleaded with (the hacker),” she advised International Information. “I advised him, ‘This account has no worth to you. I don’t have any cash.’”

It began on Oct. 26 when Hamilton obtained an e mail alert advising her that certainly one of her social media accounts had been compromised.

She acted instantly and altered her passwords however quickly came upon the hacker — whom she mentioned she traced to Nigeria — was additionally busy.

“I modified the passwords, and he’s hacking me on the similar trip of Nigeria on his system,” she advised International Information. “And he beats me, he beats me clear. He alters my e mail, my e mail verification, he modifies my telephone quantity.

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“The hacker is quicker, youthful and smarter than I’m,” she mentioned, “and he did handle to get ahold of my account.”

On that account have been photographs and condolences about her mom and sister’s deaths.

“My mom and my sister died in 2018,” she mentioned. “I might similar to to have these footage and people reminiscences again.”

Stolen reminiscences from a Calgary girl’s Fb web page.

Ctsy: Connie Hamilton

Hamilton mentioned she tried to attraction to the hacker’s humanity, nevertheless it didn’t work.

In messages she confirmed International Information, she requested the hacker: “You hacked my profile. It holds my reminiscences of my useless mom and sister. Please give it again”.

The hacker responded: “It’s going to value you $100 for me to ship you the username and password.”

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“Yah, no! You may’t be trusted even a little bit bit. Crushing souls only for enjoyable?” Hamilton shot again.

Hamilton mentioned the particular person on the opposite finish continued to ask for cash — not just for her private accounts but additionally for her enterprise account, Lioness Interiors.

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She already had further safety on these accounts however added they have been linked to her Fb account.

My unhealthy. I ought to have made positive I had a number of profiles,” Hamilton admitted. “However we expect we’re protected on Fb.”

She finally managed to safe her enterprise accounts and put warnings on her web site and social media pages alerting others that she had been hacked.

However she refused to entertain the considered sending any cash, which the hacker requested for within the type of present playing cards.

“Is a 12-year-old beating me? As a result of who asks for $100? However possibly it’s a course of. If I give the hundred bucks, possibly it’s neverending proper?”

Calgary girl fights to get her social media accounts again after hacker calls for ransom.

International Calgary

University of Calgary professor and cybersecurity expert Tom Keenan agreed when you give in, you may be setting your self up for extra calls for.

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“We don’t say by no means pay however, after all, you shouldn’t pay as a result of it solely encourages them,” he mentioned.

“For those who do pay, are you going to get your stuff again? Possibly they’ll simply ask for more cash.”

Keenan added it’s essential to recollect social media platforms will be hacked.

“One factor I all the time inform companies is it’s fantastic to make use of Fb to advertise your companies however, for heaven’s sake, don’t depend on it.

“Don’t critically depend on one thing like Fb. Don’t even rely by yourself pc. Have a backup someplace so in case your pc is attacked and the ransomware man says, ‘I would like 1,000,000 {dollars},’ you go, ‘No!’”

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Hamilton reached out a number of occasions to Fb for assist getting her profiles restored and secured.

“No human contact. There was zero human contact,” she added, “which is startling.”

International Information did attain out to the social media large. We have now been working along with them and Hamilton to search out her accounts and get them restored.

© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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