A startled Sikki reported the incident to Instagram, an employee of which has promised to fix the issue in a couple of days, for a sum.
Hyderabad: A miscreant has hacked Hyderabad shuttler Sikki Reddy’s Instagram account and is demanding $700 to let her have it back.
The 26-year-old suffered a fright on Friday evening as she got a WhatsApp message from the hacker (+90 531 404 89 00) who posted a screen shot of her verified account and wrote: “Hello. Im hacker. I sell your account for $700.”
“I got this message in the afternoon and then had an evening session of practice to attend,” Sikki, who won the Arjuna Award last year, told this newspaper.
“What the hell! I just can’t comprehend how he got my email ID and phone number,” a bemused Sikki blurted out.
A startled Sikki reported the incident to Instagram, an employee of which has promised to fix the issue in a couple of days, for a sum. She hasn’t gone to the police as she doesn’t ‘have the time to file an FIR and pursue it’ — she’s leaving on Saturday afternoon for the China Open, a BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament, to be played in Changzhou from September 17 to 22.
The hacker did not mention how he wants the money though, in cash or crypto currency. A shaken Sikki didn’t dare to ask either. “I was taken aback and simply didn’t want to reply, moreso on the advise of the Instagram staffer who has promised to help me get out of this mess,” she said.
She fears her private conversations with fellow badminton player and world champion P. V. Sindhu and others are at the risk of being posted online. “I am worried about some personal conversations with friends. Myself and Sindhu spend a lot of time communicating with each other on Instagram. We wouldn’t want everything coming out in the open,” she said.
“The hacker has even messaged Ashwini (Ponnappa, her doubles partner) on Instagram posing as me and asked her for her number. Ashwini was confused as to why ever would I not have it and called me regarding the same,” Sikki added.
The strike is perceived as Ransomware attack, which usually targets big companies and famous personalities and threatens them with their accounts.
At China Open, Sikki will compete in the women’s doubles alongside Ashwini Ponnappa and the mixed doubles with Pranaav Jerry Chopra as her partner.