Monday, November 1, 2010

Hack This

As I said in my last post: I love the internet. I hate the internet.

I love the internet because it's allowed me to reconnect with people fom school I probably would have never talked to again. I love it because it's given me a creative writing outlet that I've actually stuck with, and highly enjoy. I love the internet because I've met awesome people all over the world. And I can order a book while sitting in my underwear at 2am if I want to!

As you can probably guess from the title of my post, I'm not so in love with the internet this week. You could say the internet is in the doghouse. I'm withholding intimacy and making it sleep on the couch.

I'm well-educated. Polite. Classy if I want to be.

However, I will not be eloquent when it comes to hackers.

Hackers can go fuck themselves sideways.

I do consider myself lucky. My bank account wasn't touched (not yet anyway). I don't believe the hacker used me to spread viruses.

But what a PAIN IN THE ASS.

My husband and I have sort of a ritual in the mornings. The alarm goes off at 5. I sort of lightly doze for another 45 minutes while Chuck watches the news in bed. Then he gets on the computer while I drink my coffee and shake off the rest of the sleep. Then I get on the computer before I rush out the door for work at 6:30.

The hacking occurred a few mornings ago.

'Hey didn't send me an email, did you?' Chuck asked.

'Nope, it's probably a virus or something, I wouldn't open that if I were you,'
I said sleepily.

Chuck knows that I never ever use my email. I will use it on occasion, but I always let the recipient know that I'm sending them something.

I didn't think anything of it, this has happened before. When it was my turn to get on the computer, I found that I couldn't get into my email. My password wouldn't work.

I went through the proper channels and finally got into it. All of my contacts had been deleted. I changed the password, and was kind of pissed off. But I had to get to work, and didn't have any time to check anything else.

I had just rolled into Jacksonville when my cell rang. I was concerned, because only Chuck would phone at that time in the morning. And not unless it was for a good reason.

'Hello?' said I.

'Hey Kyna. Um....Meta (a family friend) just phoned,' Chuck said with a brusque tone.

Holy shit, did somebody die? That's the first thing I thought of.

'Yeah, why?'

'Um, she said Jacob (her son) just thought he was chatting to you on Facebook. And he said you said you were in England and needed money because you got mugged.'

And so the whole day went.

I tried to get Chuck to suspend my account whilst I was driving the rest of the way to the store. But it didn't work...they hacked my email a second time, and got into my Facebook again and were hitting everyone up for money all day long.

Every single person who came in to get their paycheck at work on Friday morning stopped by the registers and said, 'Guess what?'

'Yes...I already know...'

My sister-in-law called Chuck at work. My brother Kevin called me that evening. Everyone asking was I really in England??? Was I really crying and penniless???

After I got to work and changed most of my financial-related passwords (didn't really want to get on social networking sites from there, so I let the hackers wreak havoc on FB while I was working all day), I thought....if this wasn't so annoying it would be kind of funny.

Like, who would believe that I was suddenly in England, got mugged and was asking my friends (some of them people on Facebook that I haven't seen in 20 years) for money?

Well, apparently, people were still worried. I'm just glad that none of them sent money to these people. A couple of messages that I received scared me a little, because they sounded as if they believed that it was me that sent the message.

Took me the whole evening after work to get everything straight. Hopefully I made all my new passwords hard enough that it will be tougher to break in. I'm still getting messages from people telling me how weird it was.

It's called a 419 Scam, where the hackers send all your friends messages that you're stranded in a foreign country and need a large amount of money. They ask you to wire it to a Western Union account in said country.

So just a heads up. Make your password something really long and hard. Lots of numbers and different letter sizes. Change it often.

And a warning: I would never ask anyone less connected to me than my siblings for money. And even then, I'd probably rather starve to death in the middle of Picadilly Circus than ask anyone for money. I never use my email, so if you get one from me, it's not me unless I warn you in advance.

And if I had a trip planned to England?


Example: "I'm going to England! I'm going to England! Na-na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Ppbthhttttttttttttttttt!"

Hackers. Suck. Balls.


Melissa said...

ahh, crap. that totally sucks. why, people? why?

hah. word verification - "suffir"

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I agree...big hairy moose balls!

Sheesh Kyna, I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this. I swear this sort of thing is getting worse. After never...ever, EVER, being the victim of a virus, we've been hit TWICE this year. Hacking, or viruses, you just feel so dog damn violated! I'm glad none of your friends or family sent money.

By the way, from what I can tell, if you're ever stuck in England, starving and penniless, I recommend camping out behind one of Gordon Ramsay's kitchens. Every time I watch one of his shows, he's throwing out good food, just because it wasn't 'perfect'. You could eat better than the monarchy, and nobody would have to send you a penny :P

Oh...and I sooo love that license plate!

Laura said...

That sucks the big one! I'm so glad to hear they didn't get into your bank accounts, but still, what a pain! Swear away girl! I'm like a sailor when I'm pissed off!

Liz said...

Indeedy, I have to agree with CV on the big hairy moose balls.

I don't think I've ever had such a thing happen... But it seems mental that anyone would actually believe such messages. Like people who believe these emails from some guy in Africa who has x million dollars they want to give you... Honestly, is anyone ever sucked into that???

Just think of the fun you could have in England though ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh Kyna, I'm so sorry about the hacker, but seriously sister? That was hilarious to read about! Please forgive the laughter.

The Idiot Gardener said...

Hey, I'm in England, send me money. And yes, it really is me. I only like bills with two zeros on them. And gold. Yes, I've been mugged, send me gold, and a Dodge Charger. Christ, they even stole my shoes, so send me a Lear Jet, and a dozen hookers with a case of Bourbon.

Bub said...

It's probably something you've already done, but you must scan for spyware - sounds like a keylogging problem if they managed to get into your email a second time, and so quickly.

"Hackers can go fuck themselves sideways." That's whole lot more polite than I was when it happened to me a while back. The knock-on effects are a pain in the ass to say the least.

It shows though, that there's plenty of people worried about you, even though it's a slightly twisted way of looking at it. But that's me - slightly twisted ;P

Kyna said...

Melissa: It was probably some 13 year old kid on his parents computer. It was funny, so many of the friends that sent me messages about it said that they knew it couldn't be me because my spelling and grammar would never be that bad. ;)

Clare: Big Hairy Moose Balls indeed! With our two previous computers, we got viruses out the ying yang. This one though *knock on wood* not so much. Our anti-virus software is actually pretty good.

And I will take your advice...actually I'm thinking about making camping out behind Gordon Ramsay's my retirement plan! Delicious!

Laura: Just call me your first mate then, because my mouth is filthy. I just try to be nice on family reads this blog occasionally ;) After I hung up with Chuck, I was swearing so much in my car that my rearview mirror melted a little...

Liz: I know! I couldn't believe that people thought I just picked up and went without telling them lol. And just to reiterate (as if I hadn't done it enough already) I don't even like borrowing money for LUNCH. I've forgotten my handbag a couple of times at home, and I just went without. My friends think I'm crazy.

Chuck and I never went on a honeymoon when we got married. We are planning on making it AWESOME when we finally do go on one...England, Scotland and Ireland. And god help anybody that tries to mug ME.

Robin: Haha, it's all good! :D

IG: Is bullion ok? I only have bullion. And the hookers might be missing a few teeth, this is North Carolina after all. But since you're shoeless, I guess you won't complain too much. Beggars can't be choosers.

Bub: Yep, I have done all that. I just didn't have the time to do it that morning. I wasn't expecting to wake up and find everything fucked up. I think it was more irritating that every single person I ran across that day said, 'Did you see...??' Texts, phone calls, pm's. It was nice to see that people cared, but it was pretty embarrassing. :P

Marguerite said...

Holy crap Kyna, reading this post just gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. Some days it feels like there's no way to protect ourselves. My email was broken into this past week but luckily they just sent ads for pharmaceuticals to all my friends. No mom and dad I haven't changed careers. Glad to hear everything is okay again but damn this stuff makes me angry.

Rainforest Gardener said...

Yeah, I got that email too and just figured it was a scammer since the same thing happened to me before... except it wasn't that bad in my situation! The writing style, if it could be called that, was all wrong and reeked of one of those scammy chainmail letters. I would have written back, but figured you would find out soon enough...