And on the next episode of “hope in humanity lost for good,” I give you the story of an unknown hacker who hijacked a grieving support Facebook page just for the fun of it.
According to Lynda Cheldelin Fell, Grief the Unspoken’s page manager and published author, the breach first occurred in or around the 9th of May.
The page, which remained in the hands of the attacker for seven weeks, featured explicit content. FBI Cybercrime Unit was unable to track down the author or establish a motif.
What can be gained by tampering with an online support group?
You know the saying: “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Only this time, the hacking did not gain zilch from his attack. It’s the other way around actually; Ms. Fell, the support group’s moderator and page manager said that the disturbing posts floating around the page only went on to upset people who are struggling to deal with loss in one form or another.
Started in 2012 by Angie Cartwright, a self-help expert, and author, Grief the Unspoken was, supposedly, a safe space for those who are having a hard time coping with the loss of someone close or with a terminal illness.
The page, which over time garnered some 500,000 followers, also hosts events, fundraisers, and can also put people in touch with therapists for one-on-one counseling.
Seems like a veritable haven for those who have loved and lost; it was until the admins completely lost control of the platform.
According to Ms. Fell’s statements, the breach happened on the 9th of May. Until Facebook stepped in to resolve the issue, Fell and the other admins had no other choice but to flag down the newly-posted content.
Mr. Fell noted that the attacker derived pleasure from tormenting the page followers with disturbing content. In the seven weeks that followed, Grief the Unspoken was flooded with pictures depicting disfigured children, people being pulled out of burning cars, and, supposedly, medical training videos.
In one instance, the attacker even tagged Mark Zuckerberg in one of these disturbing posts.
Reached out for comments, Facebook said that it had registered numerous complaints in regard to the page’s inappropriate conduct.
However, when the company learned that the page had been hijacked, it took steps into purging the content and returning control to the rightful owner.
The authorities were also notified about the incident. At this very moment, the FBI’s Cybercrime Unit is working side-by-side with Facebook in order to track down the perpetrator.
No word on how the person or persons managed to take over the page or why he or she or they posted that kind of trash content. I’ll keep you posted if there are any developments in the case.
So, faith in humanity lost? I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly going on a rant after I finish posting this piece.
I mean, from all the hundreds of thousands of Facebook groups out there, you really had to mess around with a grieving group, filled with people doing their best to cope with someone’s loss.
Anyway, what’s your take on this? As always, leave a comment and let me know.