He allegedly extorted money from people in exchange for giving their accounts back
In July this year a young woman from Mohammadpur in Dhaka received a message on her Facebook Messenger account, from a known person who wanted to share a ‘confidential matter’ with her.
That person told her that someone from another account had been spreading some compromising personal photos of the woman. Since the woman did not believe this, the person shared a link in the chat box asking her to see them for herself.
“That was actually a 'phishing link' and the person who posed as one of her Facebook friends was actually a hacker. That person hacked the woman’s Facebook account like he did with more than 200 other accounts,” said Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Mishuk Chakma of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
The Cybercrime Unit of DMP confirmed this after they arrested Md Kawsar Ahmed, 20, from a hostel in Kodbari, Comilla Sadar, around 9:30pm on Wednesday. The young woman from Mohammadpur filed a case against him under the Digital Security Act with Mohammadpur Police Station.
ADC Mishuk said Kawsar is professional hacker.
“Kawser threatened the woman with abusing her Facebook account...like posting objectionable posts, photos, and also demanding money from her friends circle,” he said.
“We have received identical complaints from many other people before they were held hostage by hackers. User accounts were hacked that had weak protection systems,” he added.
Usually, hackers follow a chain system to hack Facebook accounts, said the police official, adding that as soon as they (hackers) manage to take control of an account, hackers track the social connections of that person and select those who have money or high social status.
“They just send phishing links to potential victims,” he added.
“People panic when a well-known Facebook friend sends a link saying some compromising photos of them have surfaced on social media. Instantly they click on the link and lose control of their account," he said.
Police learned that hackers hand over the control of some accounts to the owners only after extracting ransom money using the mobile banking system. “The number of Kawsar’s victims like this is over 200.”
Police seized around Tk6 lakh and two mobile phones from Kawsar’s possession which he allegedly used to extort ransom money.
In the cell phone records, police found 200 Facebook IDs, including one of the woman who filed the case.
“This victim is a professional who panicked when she was misled, fearing objectionable photos of herself on the internet,” said Mishuk Chakma, adding: "Social media users should be more cautious and not click on suspicious links sent by anyone."