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Hackers are infamously veiled in the digital world. After all, it is in the digital world hackers are able to wreak havoc in anonymity. While their crimes certainly have an impact on reality it is rare for loss of life to be involved, however this is exactly what happened with Troy Woods Jr. and Mir Islam from the hacker group UgNazi. The two friends who often pitted themselves against each other found themselves on the wrong end of a deadly tale. Key elements of their story will be explored below.

Social Engineering:

UgNazi were a group of hackers who were masters of social engineering. They seemed like digital cockroaches. There didn’t seem to be anywhere Ugnazi wanted to be they couldn’t slip in to. Social engineering is a practice of fraudulently pretending to be someone else in order to access accounts and information (2). Young Eric Taylor of UgNazi had the knack and creativity in this realm that helped set UgNazi apart (3). They went on the hack high profile company’s like UFC, Papa Johns, and even the Wounded Warrior project. Sometimes UgNazi was protesting government policies and its supporters, and other times their activities were motivated by revenge. Eventually Troy and Mir were busted as part of an undercover sting to catch cyber thieves using stolen credit card information. After their arrests, the activities of UgNazi trickled to a halt, but there was more to come from their members.

A New Level:

The advantages of social engineering clearly were not lost on Troy Woods Jr. He decided to try to win over a young lady he had in his sights, Tomi Masters. Troy posed as a famous rapper with what appeared to be official social media accounts to lure Tomi to meet him. This deception should have thrown up major red flags for Tomi, who was known to be wise beyond her years (1), however somehow she was drawn in. Troy had stolen information and hijacked accounts of major companies before, but this time he took social engineering to a new level by using it to snare a person.

Philippines:

Troy and Tomi seemed to get serious quickly. Her friends and family noticed Tomi was acting out of character. She suddenly was not the dependable, unshakable powerhouse whom had overwhelmed them for so long (1). A turning point came when Tomi and Troy were robbed at gun point in their hotel room. Shortly thereafter they visited their families, and joined Mir Islam in the Philippines much to the objection of everyone who cared about Tomi (1). It didn’t matter; she bought into some crazy dream and she was determined to live it out.

Trouble Away:

Troy didn’t seem to take having a girlfriend with him seriously. Tomi wasn’t allowed to come to Mir Islam’s condo even though it was a short walk away (1). Tomi was left to explore this new country on her own while her frustration must’ve been stewing. Her fights with Troy became epic. Tomi of course eventually wanted to go home. It was clearly not the dream she had in mind when she left everything behind. Her nightmare, however was far from over.

Deadly Turn:

The trip back to the United States never became a reality for Tomi. While the actual events are unclear given the propensity for dishonesty of the two perpetrators, what is clear is Troy and Mir Islam loaded a large white box into the back of a cab and dumped it into a river (1). The box contained Tomi’s nude body. She had been suffocated to death. Both men implicated each other and refused to take responsibility.

Summary:

Troy Woods Jr took hacking to another level. He seemed to hack his way into to Tomi Masters life through real life social engineering. She could not have imagined the deadly consequences of her decision to cast her lot with these masters of deception. Tomi Masters was discarded like stolen information depleted of its value. Troy Woods Jr. and Mir Isalm are now left to answer for a stark reality.

  1. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephbernstein/tomi-masters-down-the-rabbit-hole-i-go
  2. https://www.webroot.com/us/en/resources/tips-articles/what-is-social-engineering
  3. https://www.wired.com/2012/09/cosmo-the-god-who-fell-to-earth/
  4. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephbernstein/tomi-masters-murder-plead-not-guilty