Hero Kilkenny campaigner Vicky Phelan’s Instagram held to ransom by hackers while in US hospital
Kilkenny’s cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan has had her Instagram account hacked and held to ransom while undergoing treatment in the US.
The Mooncoin mother-of-two, who is currrently in Maryland undergoing experimental treatment, was forced to set up a new Instagram handle after a hacker got into her account and demanded $3,500 dollars from her to get it back.
Vicky was left fuming over the hack, which occurred shortly after 6pm Irish time, and quickly went online to warn others.
The hacker sent her a message on Instagram which said: “I hold your Instagram account. I can say it is not possible to restore the account.
“I can use your account maliciously if I want or I can take you away from your friends,” the hacker said before telling Vicky they have been hacking accounts for years.
The hacker then demanded US$3,500 for Vicky to get her account back, before proceeding to advise her on how to go about making the exchange.
But Vicky remained defiant. Rather than be blackmailed, she set up a new Instagram account and reached out to her followers from her hospital bed: “My Instagram account @vickyphelan has been hacked and, it seems, deleted!!!!
“I have notified Instagram but I don’t hold out much hope, to be quite honest, and so I have set up a NEW Instagram account using my maiden name and my married name @vickykellyphelan.
“The hackers will NOT win!” she concluded defiantly.
Vicky is currently in Bethedsa, Maryland at the US National Institute of Health as part of a clinical trial of the new drug M7824, which Vicky is hoping will allow her to live a longer life.