Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hacked Again

It wasn’t enough that my Twitter account got hacked. Nope. My Gmail account was hacked too. (Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that any emails were sent out advertizing products whose uses are a mystery to me.) But my Gmail account didn’t even have the same password as my Twitter account. (In fact, my passwords were listed as “strong.” Now they’re a random assortment of letters and symbols, which I’m sure I’ll forget.) GRRR. The good news is that Gmail sent me a notice immediately, told me where the account was hacked from (Singapore), and gave me step-by-step instructions to limited the damage, which included changing the password, shutting down any account access not from my laptop, running virus scans, and checking my contacts list for people I don’t know. My account should now be safe.

But here’s the thing. Why would anyone want to hack my account? I am not a drug dealer masquerading as a pastor’s wife. I am not an art thief posing as the mother of four children. I am not a wealthy benefactress pretending to be a poor writer. And unless the hacker knows something I don’t, I’m pretty sure I haven’t written the next New York Times best seller. So why hack my accounts? The only thing exciting in my computer, besides my novels, are my Facebook Scrabble games with my daughter. Aside from increasing the hacker’s vocabulary—yes, jarl, qi, za, qat are all real words—there’s not much point in hacking my Scrabble games.

Oh, wait, I know what it is. It’s my secret identity. I’m really an international spy involved in the corporate espionage of all the really high tech companies that call Chattanooga home. Phew! Now I understand it. Hmm. I guess I need to notify my clients.

BTW, a copy of my novel, Screwing Up Time, is available as a prize at the new blog Novel d'Tales. Click here if you'd like to enter the contest. 


  1. Ooh that sucks. I think your account got hacked so that people could spam your contacts. Yes. The hackers can make money out of selling your contact list to other people.

    That's why I never click on a link that I'm feeling weird about. :-)

  2. Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

  3. Misha,

    Yep, that's the best way to avoid hackers. But I haven't clicked on any weird links and none of my contacts have been spammed. It doesn't make much sense...

  4. What the heck. That sucks. I'm so sorry! There's never any rhyme or reason as to the targets of hackers. I think they're all just either bored & mean or hoping they'll find good stuff like credit card numbers. :P

    In any case, I'm glad it was minimal damage/annoyance this time.

    RE: Barbara Manatee - omg, we do actually know that song! Catchy!

  5. Crudzilla. That really stinks. And it's too late for me to win your book; I already bought it. (But haven't gotten around to reading it yet ... I loaded a LOT of books on my new kindle!)

  6. Ugh!
    Hopefully this is the end of your hacking woes.

    Glad to hear nothing was deleted.