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This hacked Twitter user turned ethical hacker now recovers social media accounts

After his Twitter account fell victim to a hack 13 years ago, Amama Benn turned the tables. He mastered ethical hacking and now helps social media users to reclaim their stolen accounts.

This hacked Twitter user turned ethical hacker now recovers social media accounts
Ethical hacker for social media

With her birthday just a few hours away, Victoria Johnson* clicked a phishing link by mistake and was locked out of her Facebook account with over 7.8k followers, which she relied on to manage her businesses online.

“I was confused for a moment,” she recalls. “I had client orders to process, and worse, I had just sent my bank account details to some of them via Facebook and was about to send them to others!”

Fearing for her finances and business reputation, Johnson, who runs a beauty and fashion boutique in a northern Nigeria city, raced to contain the damage. “With thousands of Naira potentially at stake,” she said, “I had to reach out to a friend to help me post a disclaimer on social media.”

Social media accounts are a constant target, with an estimated 1.4 billion hacked monthly according to StationX, a UK cybersecurity firm. This alarming trend is reflected in Google search data, with at least 68,000 users seeking help to recover their hacked Facebook accounts every month. In a desperate search for help, Johnson's memory sparked, reminding her of a user she followed who had once posted about helping people recover hacked accounts. Immediately, she borrowed her friend’s phone to search for him. After a few clicks there he was: Amama Benn, a digital marketing consultant with a side hustle as an ethical hacker.

“The urgency in her voice was clear,” Benn recounted to Bendada.com. “Without hesitation, I jumped on the case that very night. Thankfully, within a few hours, I was able to not only recover her account but also improve its security.”

How did Benn get here?

Benn was not always an ethical hacker. In 2011, he was a top micro-influencer in Nigeria, landing gigs with big names like Zinox and MTN. Campaign tactics back then involved influencers sharing account access amongst themselves or bloggers for “Twitter Feeds”. “One morning, I woke up to find my account hacked. It was clear someone I'd entrusted access to was behind it,” he said.

Since his hard-earned 16,000 followers had vanished, it meant he was going to start from scratch. Benn says this incident sparked a passion for cybersecurity. “That's how I learned the ropes of social media recovery,” he explained. “I started helping friends and others on my timeline get their accounts back.” After a year of pro-bono recoveries, in 2012, Benn saw the scale of the problem – 300,000 Facebook accounts hacked daily – and decided to turn his skills into a business.

Since he started, Benn estimates he's helped nearly a thousand people reclaim their social media and email accounts. “It's not just Nigerians either,” he told Bendada.com. “Just a few hours before this interview, I helped a German academic get their hacked account back.”

While Benn remains tight-lipped about the specifics of his recovery methods, he offered this cryptic remark: “It's like hacking back the account from the hacker." However, Benn acknowledges the challenges. Not every mission is a success. “Some cases are just difficult,” he admits, recalling an all-night attempt that ended in frustration.

“Don't wait for the hack to happen!”

Benn's inbox overflows with daily distress calls—at least 20 social media complaints land there daily. While his services don't reach everyone due to cost, he emphasises prevention over cure. “Social media is business for many now,” he explains, “their inboxes hold vital transactions. Tight security is key. Don’t wait for the hack to happen.”

Beyond phishing scams, Benn encounters a constant stream of vulnerabilities. People selling phones without wiping data leave themselves wide open. “They only realize their accounts are compromised after the sale,” Benn says. “Always wipe everything before parting with your device.”

Simple security measures can make a big difference. “Anyone can grab your phone and access it if you don't have a screen lock with a pattern, password, or fingerprint,” Benn warns. He also discourages using public Wi-Fi and devices: “It exposes you to unnecessary risks.”

Benn also emphasized the importance of strong passwords. Ditch easily guessable options like phone numbers, birthdays, or pet names. Choose complex passwords and consider a password manager for added protection.

“Don't ignore suspicious login alerts,” Benn warns. “Hackers might sneak in without changing your password, using it to monitor your conversations and steal sensitive information. The moment you see something fishy, change your passwords immediately!”


*The source asked to be kept anonymous. 

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