Hackers on Monday shifted the focus of their trade to the game of football and its administration as the Twitter account of the FIFA President, Sepp Blatter came under attack, same for FIFA’s official account.
Not a few people were shocked when the message came online that the President of the world football governing body was stepping down. It looked real when the FIFA account confirmed that Blatter was indeed resigning “due to corruption charges”.
The first message that stunned the many followers of the FIFA President was “So what if I took money from Qatari prince? I am the family’s breadwinner”.
Other damning messages from the handle include “His Excellency the Emir of Qatar is one of the most generous figures I have ever met”, “I do not apologize for my decision. I have done the best for FIFA. For almost 15 years I have toiled for this organization”.
Then came another tweet, “Ï have recommended His Excellency Prince Ali Bin al Hussein of Jordan as my successor. The royal family has done so much for FIFA. I am sure Jordan will make an excellent host for 2030”.
Meanwhile, FIFA’s official account also posted a message, “Sepp Blatter has been investigated for multiple charges of bribery. E mails between the Qatari foreign Ministry and Mr Blatter were found to conspire against some teams”.
The hackers later identified themselves as the “Syrian Electronic Army”, the same group that hacked the account of the British Broadcasting Corporation weeks ago.
Just before the Nations Cup match between Nigeria and Ivory Coast earlier in the year, a parody Emmanuel Eboue account on Twitter caused a stir by posting abusive tweets about Nigeria’s Super Eagles. Many Nigerians had reacted angrily before it was later found out that the account never belonged to Eboue.
Many Nigerian celebrities too have at different times been victims of hackers and fraudsters who use the social media to perpetrate evil. Years ago, someone who claimed to be Ini Edo went on to fleece many of cool cash by claiming the delectable actress was in need of some funds. Word eventually leaked out and the actress had to publicly disclaim the message and its sender.
Ramsey Nouah too had his name attached to a number of social media accounts he never knew about until the operators started trying to use them to make money.
D’ Banj, Flavour and other artistes have had their accounts on Twitter hacked too.
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola had to publicly announce that his wife was not on Facebook before many could believe that the different accounts with the name and pictures of the Governor’s wife were false accounts. Meanwhile, politicians and favour seekers were sending friendship requests on a daily basis.
The latest method adopted by fraudsters is to hack into e-mail accounts of individuals and organizations and send requests, monetary or otherwise from such accounts. Not too long ago, the e-mail account of the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Europe Chapter, Mr Wole Arisekola was hacked and the fraudsters sent a message indicating that he lost his wallet and was held up in Madrid, Spain. The sender also made it up that the management of the hotel had seized all his belongings, which made it look as if he needed help urgently.
He however got to know in a matter of minutes and after taking control of the account, he sent notification to all his contacts that the account was compromised and that the message that he was in Madrid was a scam message.
“The best thing to do when you get such a message is to get in touch with the person and confirm whether the message originated from him or her. When you do that, you won’t be swindled”, a businesman who once had his e mail hacked told Street Journal.