The attack came in the dark of night, as such things seem to do.
“Baby,” came my wife’s cry from the Big Table in front of the fire. “You’ve been hacked!”
I was sitting on the old leather couch in the den watching a remarkably bloody television series about Vikings while reflecting, a wee bit smugly, on the capacity of our newly installed double-glazed windows to hold back the growing cold of a Tasmanian winter.
She spun her Mac around so I could read the text; something about us being stuck in Istanbul, wallet stolen; hotel angry, threat of police action, send money quick.
DorkyMum sprung into action. We changed my password, fiddled with some settings and then, like a surgeon, she smiled and said,
“You’re going to be okay.”
I am not good with the Internet. I like yellow legal pads with green horizontal lines like Levenger used to make, the fine graphite recordings of a Cross mechanical pencil. I like to write words with pencil on paper.
DorkyMum explained that everybody in my address book – essentially, everyone I have ever communicated with from my computer – would receive a copy of this blatantly false plea. And if out of genuine concern any one of them answered, they would become fish caught in an evil electronic net.
I was mortified.
Then a curious thing began to happen. First, dozens of friends wrote messages to DorkyMum – not to me, indicating they really are friends and understand the hierarchy of our household – making sure we were aware of the transgression.
And then it got personal.
A performance poet in Singapore offered to rally her anarchist sisters among the underground of Istanbul to bust us out. A fine friend in the old, sweet sailors’ town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire asked if 12 grand would do the trick. Scottish Johnni was gearing up to lead the Niddrie Freedom/Suicide Squad on a rescue mission of epic proportions. And Guitar Paul, former US Congressman, advised everyone to remain calm. He found the message attributed to me most likely false, as it lacked a certain iambic pentameter.
I promise to never, ever, give anyone or anybody my password again, no matter what the premise. I apologize for the inconvenience that hundreds of people have had to deal with in the past few days. I am suitably and thoroughly embarrassed.
Ahh, but I am also thrilled by this unexpected connection with so many of my strange and random and wonderful friends around the world.
Hackers, you want a piece of me?
Johnni and the Niddrie Crew are only the beginning. It gets much, much worse.
Tonight we sleep tight in Tasmania.