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My Mobile Phone Got Hacked and Here Is How You Can Protect Yourself

Disclaimer

Some of my friends were saying, my mobile phone didn’t hack and I am doing a prank. Then before you read my hacking story, I want to give you a disclaimer that it’s not a prank or fake story, and everything you will read it’s based on my real-life experience. If you think it’s fake then you can happily close the window. But there are some tips mentioned in this story which you must read because that could prevent your device from this kind of hacking.

Muzamil Shahbaz mobile phone got hacked

First Attack

If you think only celebrities get a hacking attack then change your mind because the victim can be anyone. So in February 2019, I started a blog with the name GeekDirector, surprisingly I consider it my first startup with no social media presence. But anyhow, I was the only one who was writing blogs on it, and unfortunately, I was able to write only four articles. After six months, I opened my blog and it was approved with Google Adsense. I was very happy because the earnings on it had been started.

After some days, my Google Account was hacked and the hacker deleted my blog and Adsense account. It was a very depressing situation for me. Fortunately, I downloaded the backup file of my blog in my system but my earnings were gone. I was not able to recover my Adsense account because Google has a policy that you can’t create more than one Adsense account. However, I was contacting Google for the recovery but all in vain. In the meantime, I started a new startup, a digital marketing agency, with some people. But It was not giving me pleasure.

I was requesting Google to recover my Adsense Account and at the start of the year 2020, I received the good news that my Adsense Account has been restored. I was very happy but Google was not able to recover my blog because it was permanently deleted.

Anyhow, I created another blog with the same name and restored my previous blog content with a backup file. I started creating content again and made its social media presence on all platforms. Remember that this blog was not approved for Adsense because only the content was restored, not the views and analytics.

Second Attack

I protected my Google accounts with two-step verification to prevent them from hacking. But from the start of 2020 to the day when my mobile phone got hacked, someone was trying to access my Facebook account. Due to this activity, Facebook had disabled my Fb account many times and I have to change the password almost 30 times during this period.

Before my mobile phone got hacked, my blog GeekDirector was approved for earnings but till now I didn’t connect it with my Google Adsense.

Complained About Scam

One day before the hacking, I investigated about a job scam. There is no need to explain the scam but in short, I blackmailed the scammer that I will complain about his/her scam to FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) if he/she doesn’t apologize. But He/She refused and blocked me. Then I complained to FIA and still waiting for a response.

Hacking Day

I also create content for the brand campaign for the purpose of affiliate marketing, and for this, I have a separate business email address. I received all the promotional emails on that address from a valid source. But on a hacking day, I received a promotional email on my other email address. It shocked me because it was not from my valid source. I was not able to take a screenshot at that time and the email deleted after hacking attempt.

But in short, according to this email, the brand was giving me iPhone 11 Pro Max along with $500 to promote it through my blog. I thought about how they knew about my blog and why they emailed me at this address. I also thought this email should be sent to Zaryab Khan from the XEETECHCARE and Bilal Munir from the VideoWaliSarkar.

I ignored this offer and back to my work again. After some time, I received a message on my phone. I was not so much shocked because it was asking me to sign up for the iPhone 11 Pro Max Giveaway Competition. I clicked the link and fill-up the form. After submitting the form, a .jpg file was downloaded and I opened it. The picture was showing text with an unknown language.

Then suddenly I lost access to my phone and I didn’t know what was going on with it. Fortunately, there was no credit on my sim, so the hacker could not make a call or message. But my mobile phone was connected with an internet connection and the terrible things were happening. All the applications were opening automatically and performing actions on their own. Sending snaps and WhatsApp messages automatically made me frightened. I was watching a science fiction film in real life.

I quickly opened my laptop, log in to Facebook, and told people about this situation through messenger and ask them to spread this to others. After some time, I lost access to my FB account. I tried to recover it but I couldn’t. Then I checked my other accounts like Google, Instagram, Snapchat, Online Bank Portal, Fiverr, etc. I already lost their access.

It was probably my fortune that due to illegal activity only Facebook and Instagram had disabled my account. But probably due to the high-score of depression, I didn’t recover my remaining accounts. I relaxed and after some time I was able to recover my two Google accounts. One of them I received a promotional email and the other one has all the contacts. But when I opened my Gmail, all the emails were deleted and my drive was empty, and that made me more frightened than ever. But thank God, all the contacts were saved. However, I put this phone in that place where the camera remains dark.

I got another phone, log in to google account and insert another sim. I used WhatsApp and ask people what’s going on. Then I came to know that the hacker was a Russian and posting and sending messages in the Russian Language. That’s how I realized that the text on the picture was also in the Russian Language. Somehow, people were sending his/her messages by translating it into English. I don’t want to discuss hacker’s messages because the story will go long. Due to this hacking, some people had blocked me from many platforms.

In short, the hacker wanted money, he/she was not able to withdraw money from my Fiverr and Bank Account. Then he/she posted the status that I had no money. And that’s true!! hahaha.

I was contacting PTA (Pakistan Telecom Authority) and FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) Cyber Crime Wing but didn’t get any response because it was Independence Day of Pakistan. I didn’t try to access my phone but I tried to access my other accounts. It was about midnight and fortunately, I successfully recovered my Instagram account and quickly update my friends about this situation. Somehow the recovery of WhatsApp was very easy but due to the panic situation, I didn’t understand what to do now. Then a friend called me and ask me to do so. And my other friends are also suggesting and helping me with this situation.

By making this story short, at 4:00 AM, I successfully recovered all of my accounts. But I was not able to recover my Facebook Ad Account and I was not doing any kind of dance that I have recovered my accounts. Because my Facebook Ad account was connected with my Bank Account and the hacker was able to run ads on Facebook. I picked up my hacked phone and turned it on. I couldn’t access it because the password was already changed by the hacker.

I was losing access to my FB account again and again. I didn’t sleep the whole night due to this stressful nightmare. I was trying again and again to gain access but all in vain. In the morning, I informed my bank about this situation and asked them to deactivate online purchasing. However, I could take a relaxed breath after this whole scenario.

The Ad account was already gone and after contacting Facebook for two days I regained its access. Still, I was not able to access my phone because the password was changed. Hence, I reinstalled its firmware because that was the only solution I got. Somehow, it cleans the device and reset it to it’s starting position.

Now I have access to my mobile phone and all the accounts. I only lost my important emails and files which were stored on Google Drive. But whatever the depressing situation would be, you have to face it with patience.

Tips to Avoid Hacking

From the above the story, you would be able to find out the tips to prevent your device from the hacking. But following are my observations from this experience:

1- Don’t install any useless app on your mobile.

2- Don’t install your bank and freelancing app.

3- When you received an email or message, must verify its source by searching it on Google. For example, in that case, you also receive an iPhone giveaway message, you have to must verify is there any such kind of competition is happening or not.

4- Always make your account login in only one device. If it is login to other devices then logout from them.

5- Don’t click any link or download the file sent by a stranger or your friend. Must verify before downloading or clicking.

6- If you become a hacking victim, reset your WiFi router and change its password.

Here is my story and I have given you some tips after my observation, but you would suggest other tips according to your knowledge and experience.
May God keep you safe.

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Muzamil Shahbaz

Muzamil Shahbaz

Computer Scientist, Content Creator, Video Producer. I create content that erects a positive hope with some taste of entertainment.

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