By Abdulsamad Jimoh
Vika Jesse was roused from his sleep by a series of short vibrations emanating from his phone.
The room was cloaked in darkness, and fatigue clung to him like a heavy blanket. Still, a sense of urgency pushed him to reach for his phone on the small bedside table. He unlocked it; the soft glow of the screen revealed the time: 3:15 AM.
SMS and email notifications blinked at the top of the screen. He tapped to view them and couldn’t believe what he saw.
“Oh my goodness! Am I dreaming?” He sat up abruptly, as a sense of urgency propelled him to reconfirm the messages.
“Tessy! Tessy!!” His voice quavered as he shook his slumbering wife beside him.
A sleepy murmur escaped Tessy’s lips, “What’s wrong?”
“I’m being hacked, Tessy,” Vika blurted.
“Hacked?” Tessy quickly sat up.
“Somebody is draining my account through the internet…”
Tessy was astonished. She hurriedly joined Vika at the edge of the bed, snatching up his phone to inspect the ominous alerts. A sense of urgency knitted her brows, “We need to act fast. Vika, how did this even happen?”
“I’ve frozen the account, but I’ve already lost over eighteen million…”
“Vika! Eighteen million?!” Tessy exclaimed, though her efforts to retain her composure were evident.
In the light of morning, Vika hurried to the local bank to report the unauthorised transactions. As the Managing Director of Letrus Plc, a prominent beverages company, he was promptly ushered into the bank manager’s office.
“Mr. Jesse, have you shared your account details online?” the Bank Manager questioned.
“Have you engaged in any recent online transactions?”
Vika furrowed his brow, “Yes, I have. A friend and I were purchasing industrial materials from abroad. He emailed me a link to a website where I completed the transaction.”
“Are you certain that website was legitimate and secure?”
“I thought so.”
“Our technical team will investigate.”
Vika was directed to the technical department, where he met Caleb, an internet expert who meticulously examined the site.
“Sir, this is a phishing site!” Caleb’s tone was urgent. “Your details have been compromised. Other accounts might be at risk.”
Vika’s voice quavered, “What can I do? Please, help me.”
“Start by changing your email passwords immediately.”
With Caleb’s guidance, Vika revamped his passwords and fortified his security with two-factor authentication. His device was scanned for malware, unauthorised devices were purged, and Caleb enacted several safeguards.
“I’ve blocked unauthorised access,” Caleb reassured. “This is a serious case of online fraud and theft. You must report it immediately. I will attempt to track down the hacker.”
Without delay, Vika reported the incident to the Cyber Intelligence Department, offering every bit of information to support the investigation.
“My friend, Noah Edward, sent me the link,” Vika explained.
The officer in charge stared intently, a veil of seriousness settling over the room. “Your friend will have to answer some questions.”
“No link came from me,” Noah calmly said to Vika, their expressions tense as they sat facing the Director of Cyber Intelligence in his meticulously organised office.
Freshly released from an intense interrogation, Noah’s innocence had been confirmed regarding the link.
“The hacker employed a technique called email spoofing,” the Director elucidated. “The hacker skillfully manipulated the email header to make it seem as though it was sent by Mr. Edward.”
Vika was rendered speechless, a profound realisation settling within him that greater vigilance on his part could have spared him from falling into such a deceptive trap.
“Nevertheless, Mr. Edward,” the Director turned to address Noah. “There’s a possibility that the hacker managed to breach your email account, gaining access to crucial information from your correspondence with Mr. Jesse.”
“Seriously?” Noah interjected, clearly surprised.
“We’re still in the process of verifying this, but my team is conducting a rigorous investigation to uncover the true culprits…”
Back in his office, Vika wrestled with deep thoughts. The first incident had led him to erroneously believe he was dealing with a legitimate website, resulting in a staggering seventy-five million paid for industrial materials. In the second instance, the same unknown hacker had skillfully extracted another eighteen million from his account.
After consulting his lawyer, he was advised to maintain composure. Assurances were given that justice would be served, and the malefactors would be held accountable.
Days stretched into a week, with Vika tirelessly checking in with Caleb and the Cyber Intelligence Department for updates, only to be met with discouraging responses.
A few weeks later, a call from the Director of Cyber Intelligence sparked renewed hope within him. A suspect had been apprehended in connection to his case.
He hastened to the Intelligence Department in order to witness the unfolding events. The suspect turned out to be Martin, Noah’s personal assistant.
“Mr. Edward mentioned he often handed his phone to Martin for technical assistance,” the Director stated. “Our investigation unveiled that Martin illicitly accessed Mr. Edward’s email account from various devices without his knowledge.”
“Is Martin the hacker then?” Vika promptly asked.
“Not conclusively, Mr. Jesse. Martin is yet to cooperate. The investigation is ongoing. Please be patient.”
Meanwhile, Vika excused himself to take a call from Caleb, who revealed a promising lead on the hacker’s location.
Vika’s excitement surged as he eagerly conveyed the information to the Director.
Swift action was taken; Caleb used secure and encrypted communication channels to exchange the sensitive information with the Cyber Intelligence technical team.
After analysing the details, the Director instructed his team to pursue the hacker. This ultimately led to the arrest of three hackers involved in Vika’s case.
Shockingly, they unveiled that Martin had masterminded the entire scheme.
Though Vika didn’t immediately recover his lost funds, the apprehension of the hackers brought a sense of relief. Knowing justice had been served was reward enough for his perseverance.
Photo by B_A via Pixabay