Thursday, July 23, 2020

Beware Of FACEBOOK Hackers

I had a very frightful experience with my own Facebook today. Lately, I have been hearing of many friends who have fallen victims to Facebook hackers who used their identities to create fake FB accounts to lure unsuspecting friends to give their phone numbers or to borrow small sums of money. I always assumed that my unlucky friends must have exposed their "FB Friends Lists" to the public settings that lured these scammers to attack them. The scammers and hackers have been working very hard during this Covid-19 pandemic to look for easy meat. So please beware!!

Today, I narrowly escaped a hacker's chopping board and thanks to my quick instinct. I have several Facebook accounts of my own because it is necessary to protect my own privacy and lifestyle. One FB account is shared with all my wife's ex students over the years, who treated me as their own friends together with a mixture with other school friends. The other 2 FB accounts are solely for my huge number of relatives and personal friends, besides over 1000 Japanese boxers and some corporate people. All in all, I am being rated as not active in Facebook at all except for quick browsing to get updates. My sister often chided me whether I was dead or alive as my Facebook is a good as dead.

BEWARE: Facebook helps you connect and share with the people hackers in your life. (if you are not careful)

Today I fetched my wife to her office in Cyberjaya for an important meeting as their consultant to advise the Ministry on the plans to bring the country's education level to the highest. It would be a long 2-3 hour meeting, so I decided to chill and wait at the Starbucks which is only 2 streets away. While I was there, I ordered a hot cup of Green Tea Latte and started to browse one Facebook to see some boxing updates. The speed on my phone was normal and fast using my own data plan. 

Minutes later, my wife texted me to send her a photo which I had taken a day earlier. I uploaded the high resolution photo to whatsap her instead. Suddenly, it took unusually long for my photo to be sent via my mobile phone. It was still loading and loading for too long until I blamed the internet connection must have gone haywire. That's when I thought that I should use the "Free WiFi" provided by Starbucks. I clicked into the WiFi settings to search for "Starbucks" but there was none. It was very strange that I could not find it at this huge 24-Hours Starbucks outlet. All of a sudden, the word 'Starbucks' appeared in the settings list but it looked suspicious as it appeared to move up & down like disappearing & re-appearing again. So I finally clicked it like having caught a fish at last. Then the strange looking "Free WiFi" page appeared and asked me to key in all my personal particulars after waiting for many seconds. As I typed my name, I scrolled down further to see scary requirements asking me for almost my whole data information like my email, age, date of birth, gender, telephone number and blah blah...... I felt cold and it didn't sound right to ask so many questions just for a free WiFi! I have previously worked for a huge Database Firm and truly understood how all database is captured to be sold to corporate companies to provide loyalty programs to their good customers. My wife who is also an IT progammer trained had often warned me not to log into anything with "Free WiFi" as scammers would often be behind the whole tricks to cheat naive & gullible users. 

I quickly got back to my senses and withdrew from the Starbuck's "Free WiFi" offer which made me suspect that hackers were behind that. That 24 hour outlet is very popular with foreign students as Cyberjaya is a very happening university town. Drop by any midnight before the MCO, you would raise your eyebrows thinking that you have just entered a coffee outlet in UAE or Africa. I am not here to point fingers but would say hackers would target such happening places as thrifty foreign students would rely on free WiFi to do their assignments. Many would not have signed up with big data plans for their mobile phones.

The next shock I had was my Facebook was shut down abruptly or logged out suddenly! I tried to retrieve it but a strange looking page appeared as if it knew I had difficulty to search for my Facebook page. I remembered it showed my FB photo icon with 2 different personal emails which it asked whether I wanted to log in. I was still skeptical but clicked one button which suggested that I would receive the code in my sms shortly...... It took some seconds before the sms came and I had to memorize the long code before typing into my Facebook's log-in. 

I received 2 strange pop-up 'verifications' like asking me:

(Question 1) 
"Whether I give consent to Facebook to make adjustment or modifications to my Facebook account.... ALLOW or DENY?"

(Question 2)
"Whether I allow Facebook to make phone calls or send my photos to....... ALLOW or DENY?"

Horrors!! I could smell the putrid jobs of the cyber scammers & hackers! I was slowly getting cold sweat and thought my phone & Facebook account have been hacked. What an unlucky day, I thought.... Bah! Kaneeneh! The whole place seem jinxed to me. I looked back at the sms sent to me and the sender's number code was +441.......... and I quickly reported it as SPAM.

I decided to get up and leave the place as my phone's connection was getting weak & useless. I drove back to my wife's office area and parked the car under the tree to wait. I picked up my mobile phone and took a good look. The line's connection was good & running fast again. My Facebook page came back like normal and continued smoothly. The whatsap texts and photos could fly back & forth again quickly without any glitch. Whoa! I was sighing with a sense of relief.

When my smart wife got inside the car and I told her the whole nightmare I encountered. She took over my phone and instructed me to change my log in with new passwords. Next she was quick to check the settings to detect on any hackers who had been preying on my FB accounts. I was shocked to see the 'search results' as there was one vulture still trying hard to hack into my Facebook!! Hours earlier was a Singapore based scammer at work. (PLEASE SEE THE REPORT BELOW FROM MY PHONE'S NOTIFICATIONS OF HACKERS AT WORK DAILY)

Guys, please be careful with your personal details and never simply reveal to requests over the internet. Most importantly, do not use your phone to simple enjoy "Free WiFi" at restaurants, malls or anywhere as the vultures could be preying on unsuspecting victims!!


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Tales of a Missing Person

I have been missing since my last post on May 21st. It would be almost 2 months. It's nothing new that I would disappear from time to time like the birds flying south. I could say that I was very busy running around with my daily errands and freelance businesses. I had to work harder than most of you to keep myself afloat. I am thankful that luck has been on my side.

I should say that most days were spent with my downline and his many new downlines of the bereavement services. Business has been very supportive and good for me along the way. It is better than earning zero income from my boss. This new venture is not any MLM or Pyramid Schemes as thought by many but their system works like an insurance company. One needs to work hard all the time to survive and not reap from the downlines like any other MLM company. We just sell pre-need products for those who are far sighted and that saves them a lot of money & future troubles for their loved ones when they are gone. I don't handle the actual funeral services, so the sales job is very easy since I am a thick skinned and one who has no ego. 

I found some rare and priceless antique cabinets and hunting chairs for my collector friend who lives in overseas. I got them loaded up onto the lorry and delivered to his private bungalow home in Penang. The rare 3 red cabinets were made in Fujian, China and were often being rented to movie makers to be used as background props. I heard that Crazy Rich Asians movie also used them too. The 2 old hunting chairs were believed to be from a wealthy owner in Shanghai, maybe during the end of Qing Dynasty. 

It was a nice short break to visit my hometown where I grew up. Many hotels have sadly closed down due to the pandemic spread and those which survived offered the lowest prices. So we stayed at the 5 star Evergreen Laurel Hotel along Gurney Drive for just RM214 per night! I also took the opportunity to visit the columbarium at Mount Erskine to pay respect to 6 deceased persons. They are my late grandfather, his 2 wives (3rd wife is in the ocean) and 3 of his 21 children whose niches are housed together. It looks like I would be the only one of his 58 grandchildren who will do the prayer rituals and food offerings from time to time.

I organized a get together dinner with my closest childhood friends and their families at the famous Nona Bali Restaurant along Penang's coastal road near the Penang Bridge. This place was opened by another school mate which serves very delicious authentic Balinese food. We all had a merry and fun time with SOP inside the restaurant. The bill came up to over RM660+ and it was my treat for them all. They were all speechless.

It was such an unfortunate moment when we returned to KL and my wife met up her school mate for their usual gossip sessions. They went to eat at a famous vegetarian cafe which I will not name it but some bloggers have eaten there. My wife ate their salad of raw vegetables with some fanciful dressings. That night her body turned cold like frozen meat and she shivered uncontrollably during her sleep. When I checked on her, she was back to normal. The next night, she had the same attack right after dinner and her body turned cold but with mild fever on her forehead. She started to shake uncontrollably on the sofa until her head started to swing into convulsions like being possessed. My face turned pale with shock as I had no idea whether she had dengue fever or got possessed by some ghosts!! I jumped onto my feet and ran to grab the thickest comforter blanket to cover her but she was still in convulsions with her mouth muttering some gibberish sound. I wasted no time and quickly put joss sticks on my altar, just in case it was some demons lurking and attacking. I quickly bundled her into the car. I held her tightly with one hand and drove past all the red lights to the nearest hospital while yelling to her God Brother over the phone to meet me at the hospital. I wheeled my wife who was still shaking under blankets to the emergency ward. The nurses were cool and tried to calm down my panic state. They quickly drew blood from my wife's arm for blood tests. By then, her crazy convulsions had subsided and she was back to her normal state. She was exhausted, worried about her near death-experience and fell asleep. Her God Brother and I had to wait outside the ward but we found a bench to climb up to peep at my wife sleeping inside the emergency ward. An hour later the blood test results came out and the doctor explained that there were very high presence of bacteria in her blood. He was quick to point out that the bacteria probably came from the food she had eaten which could be uncooked or raw meat/vegetables! My wife knew at once that she had eaten raw salads the day before. She asked to be discharged that night itself as our home is quite near to the hospital. She has terrible phobia ever since and stopped eating raw vegetables or even coleslaw. I learnt from the internet that convulsions like those from "Exorcist" movies could be caused by mere food bacteria that attacks their whole immunity system! It was a very scary experience for both of us.

My wife's nephew has been suffering from hypothyroidism and hyper tension. He is only 15 years old and no one in the entire family had suspected that his mood swings & depression were caused by this thyroid issues. Luckily my wife insisted that he should be examined by a doctor, who later confirmed that his Hypothyroidism caused many related issues including his hyper tension. The first thing his grandmother ordered me was to get her favourite grandson for some regular exercises to help build his strengths and immunity besides counselling him on how to control his very difficult emotions. I thought it was an honour to be singled out to help this young nephew as they must be looking as me as a crazy joker and gym freak. 

Have A Good Weekend!


The Day My World Ended

At sunrise of 3rd August, my wife came to fetch me in her brand new car. She sped all the way through the morning traffic to Shah Alam. It w...