INTRODUCTION

Hacking is a quite common technique employed by the cyber criminals to steal, corrupt victims data. Nowadays, huge numbers of complaint has been reported at Cyber Crime Wing-FIA whereby hackers are reported to break into victim’s social media accounts to steal his/her data to be later used for criminal purposes. These social media accounts may include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp. Hacking is a crime under section-23 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. Moreover, punishment for which is imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one million rupees or with both.

MOTIVES OF CYBER CRIMINALS

Hackers may do hacking with one of the following criminal intentions:

  • Monetary help
  • Personal grudge or revenge against the victim.
  • To get personal/confidential information from relatives and misuse the same for illegal purposes.
  • Defame victims through actual or forged material, audio video material, pictures or other type of data.
  • Blackmailing

METHODS USED BY CYBER CRIMINALS

Cyber criminals may use different methods to create interest, excitement, anxiety and fear to compel them to click on the forwarded bogus links/pictures. Therefore, many become victims of cyber crimes. Normally the cyber criminal use following type of messages / methods to deceive the unsuspecting users:

“A Suspicious activity has been detected on your Facebook account. Please click on the link below to reset your password.” Example for such a case is as follows:

“Someone tried to login from your Instagram account. If it is you, kindly confirm through the link below.” Example of such a case is as follows:

Your account is not verified. To verify your account please click on this link within 24 hrs. Otherwise your account will be blocked.” Example for such a case is as follows:

EMAIL ACCOUNTS USED BY CYBER CRIMINALS

Cyber criminal may use different manipulated email IDs which look like same as original email IDs, coming from service providers e.g. email with the name “teamfacebook” i.e.  teamfacebookmsg1@gmail.com. However, facebook’s actual domain is @facebookmail.com, but it is from the Gmail’s domain @gmail.com. Therefore, it simply means that it’s a fake email which maybe from hackers.

HOW TO KNOW IF CYBER CRIMINALS ARE TRYING TO HACK YOUR ACCOUNT?

Below are some examples to recognize between original and fake links:

Original URL’s:  https://web.facebook.com and https://facebook.com

Fake URL’s:  https://weeb.faaceboook.com/ and https://usa.faaceboook.com/

When you click on lock sign as shown in the above image then click on certificate so, you will get the details which show that it’s safe, secure and original site.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE SUCH TYPE OF LINKS IN YOUR EMAIL OR MESSAGES

  • Change your account password.
  • Don’t use same password for your social media accounts and email.
  • Do carefully check the address bar of the URL of the webpage because cyber criminal slightly change the address which may look like the original and deceive an innocent user. For instance, instagram.com, they would use 1stgram.com which in first glance is hardly noticeable by an ordinary user.

IF YOU STILL BECOME A VICTIM OF CYBER CRIMINALS THEN YOUR NEXT STEP WILL BE …

Do not hesitate to report to Cyber Crime Wing (CCW) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Helpline: 9911

Phone: 051-9106384

Email: Helpdesk@NR3C.GOV.PK

Furthermore, you can directly approach FIA 15 regional offices listed below:

SUGGESTIONS

In view of the above details, as a true Pakistani I felt that competent authority should adopt solid solution to overcome such activities. Few possible solutions are us under:

  1. Pakistan should develop their own social media applications which will be alternate of facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and Whatsapp. In addition, ban all mentioned applications and implement their own developed apps. Therefore, we Pakistani will left with no other option to use own home made apps.
  2. However, many social media users will oppose i.e. those who are earning from social media platform will suffer badly. Secondly, it is possible that Government of Pakistan should pay exactly that much amount those people are earning per month from facebook, Instagram and Tiktok etc or hired them and utilize their skills and talent for national interest.
  3. Pakistan should introduce their own brand in cell phones with subsidize rate which will only have country own developed apps. In addition, cell phone will not accept other apps e.g facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter and Tiktok Moreover, internet packages will also be provided with 50% subsidize rate to the user of the same cell phone.
  4. If above solutions are not possible then last option which I think is easily possible is by launching free real time training across the country. Additionally, this training will be provided in all educational institution. Therefore, cyber crime activities will be controlled to some extinct.

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