You can never be too careful when it comes to online security. Scammers and hackers are a constant threat to your privacy, data and finances. While there is no guaranteed way to stay safe, you can protect yourself and reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
Phishing attacks can target anyone, as they rely on the victims’ sense of trust, not how they keep their accounts and devices secure. For example, scammers are crafting emails to Office 365 users that trick them into signing into fake websites. Once this is done, the login information of the victims is stolen and their accounts are hijacked. Tap or click here for the full story and tips on surviving this recent scam.
A recent incident reads something different. In this case the hacker targeted a certain group of victims and was personally acquainted with some of them. The crook awaits punishment after stealing personal and sensitive data.
Here’s the backstory
Rochester, NY K. Nicholas Faber is going to jail for hacking the accounts of dozens of female college students and stealing nude photos, among other things. The 25-year-old received a three-year sentence in federal prison for his crimes after pleading guilty.
Faber and co-conspirator Michael Fisch targeted female students at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh between 2017 and 2019. He obtained information through various means that he used to come across social media accounts like Snapchat and Facebook. iCloud Accounts. Faber himself is an alumnus of the school.
Faber was part of an online community that had participated in similar criminal acts and trading/selling files. Prosecutors also found evidence that Faber gave the hackers email addresses and usernames and asked them to access the accounts. He made at least 50 of these requests.
Justice.gov reported that Fish pleaded guilty to computer hacking, identity theft and child pornography offenses. Faber has also agreed to pay SUNY-Plattsburgh $35,430 in restitution.
Faber used a variety of methods to get into the accounts of his victims. We will give you some examples and tips to avoid falling prey to these tricks.
Tip: Security questions answered successfully
Faber broke into some accounts by starting a password reset process and then answering security questions correctly.
Quick Fix: This can easily be avoided by strengthening your security question standards. Choose the most obscure question and answer combination you can think of. Avoid anything like the city you were born in, your first pet’s name, mother’s maiden name, etc.
There is another way to form an answer. People who were once close to you or even social media stalkers may know personal details such as where you were born, the name of your third grade teacher and more.
Just make up fake answers to these security questions, and no one will know the answers. Be sure to remember your fake answers or risk getting yourself locked out!
Another great tip is to enable two-factor authentication when it’s available, as 2FA is a good first line of defense. Set it up across all your accounts, and you’ll receive an alert when someone tries to reset your passwords. Tap or click here to read about authenticator apps.
Tip: send a message asking for a code
Faber will text girls with a fake phone number saying that he accidentally signed up for Snapchat with their phone number and needs a code to change it. The victim will provide him with the code that lets him reset his password.
Quick Solution: Whether you receive a text from a stranger or someone claiming to work for a company whose services you use, never provide any personal information. If there is a problem with your account, speak to the company directly. They will not email, call or message you asking for a password or security code.
If you’re not sure of a message you’ve received, contact the company directly, as a Kim Komando listener did when she was contacted by a scammer posing as Microsoft.