Hacking My Account and Attacking My Fans & Friends

As a private citizen it’s terrible when your online accounts are hacked and used to perpetrate, well, anything at all. Typically this happens with eMail. Occasionally we suffer our social networking accounts being hacked. It’s embarrassing and scary to have strangers spewing ads or profanity at your coworkers, schoolmates, friends, and family.

Then you have people with public lives, and they often come up against “online unpleasantness” in many forms. It can be discouraging and cause you to withdraw from interacting with the public. To people in that boat–whether you are an author like myself, a pro fisherman, actor, spokesperson, politician, whatever–I say do not give up. In fact, it’s time for you to double down, triple down, and perhaps even quadruple down.

Back in early 2006 my MySpace account was hacked (yes, MySpace was the Facebook of that era…anybody else remember what that was like?) and the following message was sent out to everyone on my friends list as a bulletin:

—————– Bulletin Message —————–
From: John
Date: Feb 20, 2006 4:54 AM

This is very serious. I am not joking about this.

Listen,

Over the years I have written many books, and lets face it 98% were complete crap. The other 2%… well I guess you could say they were ok. Up until now I have had no problem taking money from you fools… but lately my conscious has really got the best of me. I am finished… thats right I am offically retiring from writing books. I am RICH all thanks to you fools. L8TR BITCHES!!!!!!!!! HAHAH!!!!

Sincerely,
John

As you can imagine this did not do much for my reputation. Aside from being riddled with errors, the message inspired ire, concern, and so forth, followed by a drop in my friend count. Attempts to clarify and explain the situation were met with some skepticism and sarcasm–to be expected due to the nature of the internet–but for the most part there was an outpouring of support once people understood what had happened. I bounced back.

Yes, as an individual with a “public” life online there will always be knuckleheads making accusations, users trying to suck you dry, attention-seekers and stalkers, or next-big-things stepping on you in the attempt to reach the next rung on the ladder. But how is that any different from private individuals on the internet, or–more to the point–life offline in the “real” world?

We take the beating. We keep going. We help those willing to accept it, and get by with the strength of our friends. Or followers. Or those added to our circles. Succeeding as an author is a battle of attrition, as is every other aspect of life; I’m not giving up, and I’m heartened by the fact my friends and readers have not given up either.

2 thoughts on “Hacking My Account and Attacking My Fans & Friends”

    1. HA! Why, do you want to know what it is? 😛
      Actually…after that I started changing all my passwords every six months, using the “cut-up” technique of the Beats to splice together numeric information/text information from my private life, although not information that anybody would be able to guess from looking up my basic information in some file somewhere. So. Should be unhackable even by Area 51 escapees. Although, that is *not* a dare to the hackers out there. If you are a hacker I love and respect you and hope you’ll focus on something more important, such as joining up with what’s left of Anonymous and doing something about the brutal oppression being orchestrated by those at the top. Cool?

      Like

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