‘Don’t feed the trolls’, says IT specialist

Thursday 18 February 2021 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Crime, National

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‘Don’t feed the trolls’, says IT specialist
IT techs at TN Technologies with managing director Timwateru Timea Nubono (standing left). LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 21021214

A local IT company is planning to hold a workshop to teach people ways to avoid online scams.

The best way to prevent online hacking is to stay away and “don’t feed the trolls,”, says local IT specialist Timea Nubono.

According to Nubono, the managing director of TN Technologies Limited, they have received complaints from around 20 people who have fallen victim to online hacking through mobile phones and computers.

This year alone, he attended to 10 people who were affected by online hacking.

Nubono said some of them had their phones hacked and were manipulated through social engineering attacks.


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Social engineering attacks is a term used to describe how human beings are being manipulated in their mind, by the use of social engineering methods like phishing, where they are manipulated to enter a code, or email or click a link, or through lotto scams.

Nubono recently attended to a client who had all the files in their computer compromised. The perpetrator used a ransom ware attack called phishing to scam the client.

“The hacker created a malware and the victim started giving information next minute he was given a link, he clicked the link and downloaded their file, it turned out to be a malware software, he followed an instruction clicking next and next … people get carried away.”

Late last year, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said they dealt with a case where a local business’ email account was compromised, resulting in an investigation and ongoing efforts to seize and repatriate the lost sum.

UFIU’s senior intelligence analyst Walter Henry said an associate based in a foreign country received an email from the local business using a familiar address.

It was unknown to the business associate and the local company, that the email account was compromised by a hacker, who sent an email with a request to make a payment of US$50,000 ($71,000) to a foreign bank account.

And thinking the request was legitimate as it had come from the familiar address, the business associate made the payment.

According to Timwateru Nubono, who studied computer forensics in the United States and Russia, it is sometimes difficult to know the source or who are the hackers.

He advised people to always update their phone and computer systems. Many users are still unaware of the importance of online security when using a mobile phone and/or a computer.


“Always ask yourself before you click on any link, or give information. Use paid anti-virus as some are always caught off guard for not updating their system.”

Nubono said users should always be mindful of the following:

- Don’t access your personal or financial data with public WIFI – it is safer to do it in your own home or using your phone data

- Choose your apps wisely

- Always use a password or lock code (just don’t forget your credentials – write this down and put it somewhere safe)

- Don’t open attachments and links that you are unsure of – DELETE immediately!

- Keep your software up to date.

Nubono added: “Lastly, remember, before you give any of your personal or financial information to someone who requested it and whom you do not know… ask yourself ‘do they even deserve to know the information they are asking for?’”

“Don’t be fooled by e-mails posing as banks – banks will not ask for your personal details – similarly with WhatsApp, Google, Microsoft, Telegrams.”

Nubono believes the only solution to this issue is security through education.

He is now working on holding a workshop/training for those interested in cyber security, security online and storage online.

Through this workshop, he hopes to share some vital knowledge on these topics with the community.

“I am in the process of getting materials to teach the community, I am looking for a venue, and a date to be confirmed for a workshop or training on cyber security, security online and storage online. And I will be running with the web development, how to market and develop your own website around late March or April.”

The workshop will be open to anyone but there is a fee. There are already 15 people interested in participating for website development.

TN Technologies are specialised computer forensics and data recovery experts.

They focus on various things regarding IT in the Cook Islands, and have been in business for four years.

They provide data recovery, preservation, repair on hardware, software, network, mobile phones, iPad and tablets as well as in various areas of electronics including TV motherboards. In terms of security for mobile phones, they work on devices to get rid of log in mechanisms.

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