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Internet service providers in running battle with hackers

By Charles Mgbolu
information reaching Cyberlife has indicated a series of silent battles going on between some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country and a group of super-brilliant Nigerians who are hard at work hacking into the different servers of these Internet Providers obtaining their IP addresses, proxy codes, numbers and addresses and selling same to interested buyers.

It means that these persons who have bought these codes will automatically browse free of charge on the network of these Internet Providers. This period, we gather, usually lasts from three weeks to about a month before a  technical personnel in the technical support departments of the affected ISPs detects the scam and blocks the code(s). Cyberlife gathered exclusively that two of the affected ISPs are major operators in the sector.

Sources, on the condition of anonymity said that because these hackers could not guarantee how long this period of “blissful” browsing will last, the fees charged for the codes are usually peanuts; most of the time not above a hundred naira.

Cyberlife also learnt that there are now countless secret blogs and chat rooms on the internet where information on these could now be easily obtained. These faceless hackers use the internet as their network platform to spread their tentacles and reach out to more buyers. When we pressed for specifics as regards the addresses, our sources refused to comment.

A thick shroud remains over these faceless hackers as none of those interviewed by Cyberlife admits to have ever met one face to face.

“The man who sells the codes to me buys it from some other person whom I suspect may be the hacker,” says one buyer who simply identified himself as Stephen, and had patronised these hackers on several occasions.

“I don’t know why nothing has been done about this as these guys are still out there selling the codes and making good money out of it,” he said.

To survive the stiff competition, many of the internet service providers, majority of whom are also telecom operators had reduced their charges for internet browsing on mobile phones to the barest minimum. Yet, these software professionals appear undeterred by this; its either free or no deal at all.

Despite the activities of the hackers, many of the ISPs still insist in publiced claims in advertising campaigns and on official websites that their servers are very secure.

Every now and then, angry customers besiege customer care lines of  mobile telecom networks with bitter complaints of purchasing already used recharge cards even though the silver coatings that hid away the pin code had still been intact upon purchase. Eventually, some of these loyal customers are compensated, but the issue is usually quickly swept under the carpets to avoid exposure and embarrassment and no proper investigation is carried out.

There has been no open statements to warn off these intruders at least to make them know the organisation are aware of their pranks and are on the look out for them.


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