In today’s digital era, the Internet has undeniably become one of the most valuable assets. However, on its flip side, it has paved the way for numerous cyber threats and security challenges.
The ascent of AI has further fueled these issues. Many high-profile organizations have frequently been targets of ransomware attacks. Most recently, Wigan Athletic had to encounter the same.
Fans of the English football club woke up to a bizarre sight on Friday morning. Their beloved Latics’ Instagram page had been taken over by an unknown hacker.
Instead of the usual match highlights and player photos, numerous selfies of an unidentified woman wearing a hijab had replaced them.
Moreover, the profile picture of the Instagram page was changed to a photo of the Middle Eastern woman in a hijab with her son.
The appearance of a Middle Eastern woman in the posts sparked speculations associating the hacking with potential pro-Palestine propaganda.
However, no conflicting posts have been featured on the page, and the hackers have neither made any demands nor provided explanations for their actions.
And It is not like they can access any internal confidential information out of hacking the Instagram page. Therefore, the motive behind the action remains unclear.
Moreover, If you look at the profile picture, the woman definitely doesn’t exude ‘hacker’ vibes. Instead, she gives off a rather motherly impression.
So that raises the question- Was she truly the hacker? If not, then who was behind the attack, and what was their purpose? Was there any specific reason for targeting the woman in the pictures, or was she simply a random victim of digital opportunism? The hacking has left us with numerous unanswered questions.
The club is yet to release an official statement addressing this issue.
The shock was widespread and immediately resonated among the club’s 176,000-strong followers. People took to social media to voice their opinions.
The majority of the audience took it lightly and expressed their humorous takes on the reason behind the hacking.
Some have jokingly suggested that perhaps the woman accidentally stumbled upon the password to their account and simply went along with it.
Alternatively, others speculated that she might have been Wigan’s social media manager who forgot to log into her personal profile before uploading the selfies.
Probably social media managers family and meant to change his own profile I’d bet.— Gulliver Hughes (@HarbourGull) December 14, 2023
Others have pointed out that Wigan’s ‘new emblem’ is impressive.
They hilariously referenced the profile photo of the hacked account as Wigan’s new club logo. Pictures even circulated showcasing Wigan’s players donning their home kit featuring the ‘new logo’.
It would look good on their kit tbh— Ultra Messi (Fan) (@SuperMessi10i) December 15, 2023
Some have suggested that perhaps hackers did not intend any harm. Instead, they only posted selfies and a picture with her son. Even if it was a mistake, it surely appears to be a wholesome one.
Although the ‘wholesome’ aspect can’t be contradicted, it should not be taken lightly. If indeed it is the work of a hacker, it is disturbing to witness how easy it is these days to bypass internet security protocols.
Just a couple of years ago, a similar incident happened with Manchester United, which was much worse than this. The club suffered a cyberattack where hackers gained access to confidential information related to potential targets and scouting missions.
United’s email system was disabled by the hackers for over a week. In July 2018, a hacker accessed Liverpool‘s IT network and collected data on the club’s fans.
Thankfully, this was not the case with Wigan Athletic this time. By the end of the day, Wigan had regained control of their account, deleting all traces of the unauthorized content and no harm was done. However, these issues of cybersecurity still remains a major concern.