So you get hacked. How do you find out? Well, someone calls you unexpectedly. Says that some of your retirement funds have been transferred at your request to some random account at some other random bank. The only problem is, you never made any request. Wha happened?
Who knows. You only know this. Some hacker hacks into your email, poses as you, writes a letter (from you) requesting the transfer, and attaches that letter to a back-and-forth conversation already in place with your retirement guy. The hacker only needs to locate a conversation thread between you and your retirement people (which, by the way, had no data in it, only the company’s name), and locates it in one of your many trashed, old, or not-yet-replied-to emails.
No matter that you clean your email carefully and frequently. No matter than you do NO (that is, ZERO) on-line banking, use NO public computers, change your passwords frequently and share them with NOone. That’s all irrelevant. If you think all those activities will get your protected from hackers, I’ve got a Bentley on my personal island I’d like to sell you — I just need a grand or so for airfare to your city, so we can sign-off on the deal.
But back to the little, cowardly hacker people. What happens next. Two ladies walk into a bank on the other side of the country. Try to withdraw the funds (you know, the retirement funds you worked so hard to earn). They could have been successful. Fortunately the bank manager thinks something smells fishy. Wait a minute, he thinks to himself. Why would anyone transfer funds into a new investment account, only to request to withdraw them 24 hours later? Mr. On-the-Ball bank manager calls your old company, the one that transferred the funds. Tries to authenticate the transfer. Finds out the transfer was fraudulent. At some point, the police are “in the building” but refuse to get involved. At some point the “ladies” (I have other words, but they aren’t really for human ears) leave the bank. Sayonara, bitcccchhhes.
Now what. Everything’s groovy right? Wrong. You’ve got a bunch of credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, professional accounts, email accounts, writing accounts, social media accounts, random accounts, etc., that need new email addresses, new passwords. Some of them need new account numbers. Your bank CD’s, for instance, need new numbers, except you can’t get them unless you withdraw the funds prematurely and take a hit on the interest. Hmmmmmm, you’re thinking. Why should I take a hit on the interest, when my funds are protected against fraud. Only the bank stands to loose.
Bag the CD account number changes, you say. The bank will have to take the risk. They’ve been notified. With all the fraud that happens, they ought to have developed a process for changing account numbers for situations like this.
Now, everything’s good, right? Wrong. You’ve got frequent flier miles, you’ve got several publications that communicate with you about your writing submissions, you’ve got neighborhood lists, poetry lists, library lists, etc. You’ve got your health insurance, your car insurance, your life insurance. Why should those matter, you ask. Because all those are sources of information for hackers. All of them can provide little tiny pieces of information, which lead to larger pieces of information, which lead to information enough for hackers to make your life miserable.
Besides, didn’t you just do all this account “updating”? like, less than a year ago? See post for August 24th, 2012. Yeah, that’s right. You did.
What’s going to happen to them, these people who will impose a shi*-load of work upon you during the next few weeks, which, by the way, happens while your stepfather is dying a gruesome and devastating death? Nada. Bupkis. Nuttin. Not a freakin’ thing. Because, there’s not enough time and resources to go after the problem. Besides, the funds were recovered. No matter that the hackers continue to send correspondence to your contacts, trying to get them to release more funds. No matter that they have information about your financial picture – the kind of information that you don’t release to anyone, even close friends. No matter that the women are on videotape. No matter that a report is filed. Why? Because there just ain’t enough investigators on the planet to go after these creeparoos. That’s just “how it is”.
Does this sound like a complaint? Well, sort of. But the Respondicator really only wants to say one thing. It’s something to the little hackers out there. The greedy little people who spend their lives making your’s miserable. Here it is, you little, little, cowardly, little, little, very little people: Get a job. Grow up. Be something worthy of being written about.
That is all. I got a few dozen more calls to make…..