We often come across posts on various social media saying “Facebook account has been hacked. Offensive posts are being made. Apologies.” Sometimes it says, “Don’t send money if requested from this account.”
It’s no secret that people’s social media ID or profile gets hacked. But the fact that several rings have spun a business out of providing illegal hacking services in exchange of money certainly is something unique.
In recent times, some posts caught attention on different online-based messengers and social media platforms where there were advertisements for hacking IDs on platforms like Facebook, Gmail, Imo and Whatsapp.
Some messages of this sort were received on Whatsapp also. Meanwhile, numerous groups and pages appear on Facebook if searched with the key words ‘ID hack'.
DB takes action if they receive a complaint or find something of this sort in cyber monitoring. They request Facebook authority to remove those links through the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.Junaed Alam, additional deputy commissioner, DB
The police state that most of these posts of this kind are actually fake. Often, under the guise of having someone's ID hacked, the money sent as an advance payment is stolen. However, this is also a criminal act. People who seek to use such services will also be regarded as felons.
Many believe all the incidents are not fake as there are incidents of people’s IDs getting hacked.
A phone number provided in an advertisement of ‘ID hacking’ was contacted Saturday evening. Without revealing the identity of being a journalist, this correspondent talked to them posing as a ‘victim’. The ‘hackers’ said that they charge Tk 9,200 for hacking an ID.
According to the information of cyber and special crime division under Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP)’s Detective Branch (DB), about 24 per cent of the cases transferred to them are filled under the allegation of hacking accounts on different social media including Facebook.
Additional deputy commissioner of DB Junaed Alam told Prothom Alo that DB takes action if they receive a complaint or find something of this sort in cyber monitoring. They request Facebook authority to remove those links through the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
Poland-based social media management platform, NapoleonCat’s records from January states, there are 46.5 million Facebook users in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the number of people using platforms like Gmail, Imo and Whatsapp is countless.
‘Hacking’ can turn people’s lives unbearable and tarnish their social reputation. Miscreants can extract money. Meanwhile, if something provocative is posted after hacking an ID it can lead to violence also. The country has witnessed several incidents of violence centering Facebook posts already.
These rings are publishing such posts on social media, along with their cellphone numbers. And, all cellphone numbers are biometrically (with fingerprint) registered now. So, the criminals can easily be identified if wished to.
Professor at Dhaka University’s Institute of Information Technology, BM Mainul Hossain told Prothom Alo that politicians and celebrities hold regular live sessions and share information on Facebook.
For instance, if anyone with animosity towards a politician take control of his (politician) Facebook ID and make a controversial post from there, this can lead to a chaotic situation in his locality as rumours and false information spread faster.
These rings are publishing such posts on social media, along with their cellphone numbers. And, all cellphone numbers are biometrically (with fingerprint) registered now. So, the criminals can easily be identified.
BM Mainul Hossain said that the law enforcement agencies were highly active in case of the question paper leak incident. As a result, cases of question paper being leaked on social media have reduced now. Such proactive approach is also required against these sort of rings, involved in ID hacking.