Hacked

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TAKE if from someone whose Facebook account was hacked many years back: It’s not fun at all to lose control of your FB, Twitter or even Instagram accounts. In fact, being hacked makes you “wanna cry.”

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Therein lies the hullabaloo about the WannaCry malware, which has hijacked the websites or Internet-connected systems of some of the biggest corporate and government organizations in the world.

WannaCry has been appropriately dubbed a RansomWare because those behind the malware had asked the website owners to each pay a ransom of US$300 in bitcoin, the digital currency, to get back control of each website.

But WannaCry is not our topic for today; it’s about getting your FB hacked, with the irony that you’re not even a celebrity to deserve the attention of a hacker who has crossed into the dark side.

A hacker who has crossed into the dark side ala Darth Vader? Why? Are not all hackers already inhabiting the dark side at the onset? Not so, to answer those questions.

There are those so-called “ethical hackers” whose pursuits are, among others, to help counter the acts of rogue hackers. How about hacking back a website that’s been hacked away from you? Yep! That’s a job for ethical hackers.

Ethical hackers may also be unaffiliated cyber security experts who may be commissioned to hack-proof your website by installing firewalls, fail-safe systems and catch-all, Armageddon-like digital preparations.

But do you need an ethical hacker to rescue a hacked FB account? Fortunately for many of us, Facebook has through the years come up with check valves to identify fake, spam or hacked accounts so they can be deactivated or returned to their rightful owners.

Rescuing a compromised account – granting that the hacker has not yet changed your password – may be as simple as clicking a button that says your FB’s security has been compromised.

Or it may just be answering a set of questions (what is the name of your dog, etc?) whose answers are pre-determined by you when you created or updated the account.

The easiest is to just declare you’ve forgotten your password and then to ask FB to send the password to your cellphone number of to the email address which you used in creating that FB page.

Once the password which a hacker had used to replace your original password had been sent to your email or mobile phone, it’s just a matter of logging in with that password and then immediately changing it to deny access to the hacker.

When my FB account was hacked, the email and mobile phone account rescue options were not yet available, but I still did manage to have FB deny access to that now dormant account under my name.

So what did I do to convince FB management that the account was hacked? I used the normal route which is to ask at least 10 of your FB friends (through an FB friend you can contact via phone or personally) to click on a button that says your FB account had been hacked.

I did better than that though when I asked to borrow a friend’s FB account to engage the hacker of my FB account to talk and finally admit that he had hacked the account for the sheer pleasure of being able to do it.

I sent FB management a screenshot of that admission and, voila, my FB account was laid dormant. It was a pyrrhic victory sure since justice would have been better served with FB returning control of the FB account to me.

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