MUSCAT: Hackers who desired to make a fast buck were in for big disappointment.
Dr Mathews Mar Severius, Metropolitan of Kandanad West, whose visit to the Sultanate of Oman after 12 years was marred by hackers who hacked the metropolitans hotmail id (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This email id is now redundant and is replaced by the new email id email@example.com
The Metropolitan who began his visit from March 24 to Salalah (1,200 kms south of capital Muscat) for the Passion Week celebrations at the St Stephens Orthodox Church noticed this a week after his visit.
Hacked mails were received by some of Metropolitan’s friends with a message on the subject line which read: How are you doing today? I need your help..(letter enclosed) Hackers who came to know of the Metropolitans Gulf visit tried to encash the opportunity but failed.
They forwarded emails to Metropolitan’s friends addresses stating that he was travelling to Dundee Scotland (the fourth-largest city in Scotland) for a seminar and needs immediate cash because he had misplaced his wallet on his way to the hotel.
The mail also goes on to request for an urgent soft loan of $2,500 to sort out the hotel bills and to get back home.
Two friends of the Metropolitan in USA and Abu Dhabi upon receiving the mail even went to remit money to the account number given.
But the USA friend acting wisely called up the Metropolitan’s office in Mar Pachomios Mount, Kochi.
Being told that the Metropolitan was in Salalah, the friend called up the St Stephens Orthodox Church vicar and was told the email was from a hacker and told the Metropolitan was safe and not to proceed further.
The hacked mail was made public by Binu Chacko, Malankara Orthodox TV (Gulf Region, Dubai) on its website last week Binu who designed His Graces website called Praise Foundation (www.praisef.com) also received the email asking for help. He immediately swung into action and was able to rectify the problem.
Dr Mathews Mar Severios Metropolitan who met this correspondent after the Holy Qurbana on April 9 at the Muscat Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church said new email ids had been activated and not much danger was done by the hacker.
Changes in the contact email id have also being made on the website: www.praisef.com, the Metropolitan added.
Other new alternative email ids of the Metropolitan are: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Mathews Mar Severios has left for Kerala on Saturday, April 11 after a 18-day visit to Salalah and Muscat.