Every now and then, I’ll get an email from someone with nothing in it but a mighty suspicious link. With a mixture of disappointment, shame on their behalf, and an unhealthy level of Technological Elitist Disdain, I shake my head, hit delete, wonder what the poor soul clicked on to bring such a travesty down on their household, all while muttering something along the lines of I Pity the Fool.

And then, in a twist of justice to my unwholesome attitude, yesterday happened.

I was sitting in my cozy chair in my bedroom, composing a blog post that you might have otherwise read today, when Noah began to stir from his nap.

I headed to his room to comfort him, tried to get him back to sleep to no avail, and finally gave up and headed back into my formerly quiet workspace, now with baby in tow.

At which point, I noticed I had nine new emails…wow – I must have done something to please the world.

I saved my blog post, cuddled with my baby, then clicked on my email.

Which now told me I had one hundred and nine new emails.

Delivery Notification Failures.

Replies to blank-subjected emails that I didn’t send.

Out of office auto-replies.

My face went white. My hands began to shake. I had somehow, mysteriously, through seemingly no fault of my own, been hacked. My main personal email account, one I’ve had for over 10 years.



I grabbed up my baby under one arm and yanked my rather large laptop from the wall and shoved it under the other arm and raced downstairs, all while still shaking violently and simultaneously dosing myself in a thick blanket of horrifying shame.

(Note: Do not try this at home. The running with too many objects or the horrifying shame.)

I screamed for Chris to help me in the panicky voice formerly reserved exclusively for the situation of being on fire, sinking in quicksand, and covered with cockroaches all at once.

(Obviously, the cockroaches part would be the worst of the three.)

He quickly yanked the baby out of my football hold and told me to turn off my computer, in case that was how they were accessing my email. We logged onto his computer and changed my password as quickly as possible.

Then I began The Type of Shame.

I responded to all of the “Did you send this?” and “I think you were hacked…” and “What’s this link?” and “I didn’t know you sold Malaysian Pharmaceuticals!!” emails..

Then I attempted to re-spam my entire address book with the “I’ve been spammed don’t open anything from me” email…

…which, of course, got caught as spam.

(Why oh why, internet geniuses, do the spam emails NOT get caught, all while I’ve-been-spammed emails always get caught??)

I had officially entered Cyberspace Hell, and each successive ding indicating a new email in my inbox was the Devil prodding me with a fiery, roach-covered pitchfork.

I nightmarishly spent the next three hours on the phone with tech support, email support, computer cleaners, and my new Malaysian Pharmacist trying to get anti-anxiety pills to quell my nerves.

(Okay, all except for that last bit. But something would have been nice. Especially for my poor husband’s sake, having to put up with my state of being.)

The next step was deciding whether to kill my email address and start over or not. Were the hackers gone? Were they still in, crouching like those evil roaches, ready to eat my precious cyber-identity again? Would anyone ever read anything I wrote again? Had my email address been permanently blackballed by everyone I ever cared for?

Then, of course, I got the phone call.

The phone call that everyone gets when they’ve been hacked – who’s the one person who would call, old-school-style?

Yup – Mom.

I confirmed that I was a mongrel and reminded her to never ever click on a link with no text explaining it no matter who sends it, and she assured me that her computer told her that I was spam, so she hadn’t done so.

Even my Mom knows I’m spam. That’s a sad day, folks.

So. If you’re still reading this and haven’t completely written me off as a faceless, dark-alley spam-mongerer, I did decide to change my email – it will take a while to make a complete transition, but you can reach me either at my blog email (it was not hacked) rachel (at) graspingforobjectivity.com, or my new email that I made eerily similar to confuse the mess out of you, graspingforobjectivity (at) gmail.com.

Awesome, huh?

May the rest of your day be full of roses and daisies, and may the malicious (and, might I add, brilliantly sneaky) hackers stay far away from your doorstep.

And to all of you who received any email from me yesterday, my deepest apologies are hereby extended. I shall wear my shame with dignity, if that’s possible – but feel free to pity me, starting now.

34 thoughts on “Hacked: A Shame Too Great To Bear.

  1. i think you need a peach milkshake to make it all better. I thought something was up when I got the link. At least I know my anti-virus software works! ;)

  2. I got it on my blackberry from you, but I knew better than to open it. You wouldn’t do that to us!!!

    My twitter got hacked a few weeks ago. That was a pain in the butt!

  3. LOL – I saw it last night and then thought – hmmm odd link, no subject, thinking THAT wasn’t intended. Thankfully your hacking didn’t wipe out your ENTIRE address book which mine did a few years ago, needless to say it made sending the “I have been hacked” email a little difficult!

  4. That is so sorry for people to do, and why? What is their purpose except maybe knowing they have ruined someone’s day. I had to change mine last week. So sorry.

  5. Ahhh… that WAS you! glad I deleted rather than clicked! i am having enough technical issues without adding that! It happens- glad you got it taken care of- and of course as I read this, Today show was just showing an entire segment on cyber cleaning and hackers. ha! Irony.

  6. Even worse, on facebook this week, an older lady from our church had a link to porn – and the picture on the link – which you saw clearly – showed porn. Sick!

  7. Oh I HATE that! I was Facebook hacked and went through the same emotions… mine actually started up chat sessions with friends acting like I was in some desperate situation and needed money immediately, then proceeded to CURSE at them! THANKFULLY, that was the point at which they all figured out it WASN’T me!

    Sadly, hacking has become so common that when I saw that I just thought, “poor thing, she’s been hacked” and deleted it. Don’t you just WISH you had the kind of time on your hands to sit around and try to steal other people’s identities??

    1. I was on the receiving end of a hacker on Facebook asking for money. I managed to work out that it wasn’t him when he (or she) tried to guess my friend’s middle name and got it wrong. It was very icky though and put me off Facebook chat entirely.

  8. yep, it happens. My email was hacked last fall….only it happened at 3:00 in the morning, so my email alert on my phone (which for some reason, on that particular night I had forgotten to put on silent) started going off…again, and again and again. Fun way to wake up in the middle of the night!

  9. This happened to me earlier this year!! My yahoo account that I’ve had since college sent everyone emails about pharmaceuticals, even with titles like “this worked wonders”. That one in particular went to my SIL with a link for erectile dysfunction pills. She called me to make sure my husband wasn’t having, um, issues ;)

    I thought it was kind of funny. Him, not so much!!

  10. This is what I can’t fathom:
    Why do they do this? Simple- to make money.
    Next question: Who on earth opens those spam e-mails and thinks to themselves “hey-I’ve been meaning to try Viagra. Great!” and buys it?!?! If these hackers weren’t making money, they wouldn’t do it- so who’s buying??

    1. I always wondered that about cars in really ugly colors… you know, when you see a Mercedes in Puke Green? I love me some green, but not puketastically. Who buys that new?

  11. What a pain! My recent virus issue made me realize sometimes you don’t have to do anything to get hacked. That’s what is so frustrating! Hope you can get it sorted out without much more trouble!

  12. Jason and I were just discussing this issue this weekend when I tried to open a link from a trusted site and all sorts of things started popping up. He informed me that I need an anti-virus software along with mal-ware software. And there may have been one other item he mentioned too, but it escapes me. When he installed the mal-ware software he found several trojans on my computer and other stuff. Yuck!

    I’m glad you got this taken care of and sorry you had to endure the shame. And don’t worry, I thought something was fishy when I received two e-mails from you with no subject or other info. We know you wouldn’t do that to your friends. :)

  13. So, can my feelings be hurt if I didn’t get one of your rogue emails that went out to your former decade’s contacts list??? :(

  14. I didn’t think that you would send an email with a link without saying what it was.But,I should probably feel more shame than you because I was sooo tempted to click on the link.I didn’t know what it was to but,I thought it would be fun.
    I should have learned my lesson the last time I clicked on a random link and it was looped porn that I couldn’t exit out of.:(

  15. No worries…we’ve all been there. I did receive both of your emails…the first I immediately dismissed to the trash folder since the only mail I usually get from you is a reply to a comment (and says so in the subject line), and the second came through just fine. Just to ease your nerves, I’ve gotten hacked once or twice and it was resolved simply by changing my password (and sending out that embarrassing apology email, of course).

    1. The only problem is, now my email address has been marked in a bunch of systems as a spammer. I sent an email to Chris’ Uncle this morning, whom I email about work stuff at least once a day, and it went straight to his trash folder. Therefore, I had to get the new email address.

  16. I’m such a goof when I e-mailed you back the term I used was “high jacked” instead of “hacked” :)
    I’m just waiting for my main e-mail to get hacked b/c of all the free samples & coupon things I’ve signed up for :)

  17. Ummmmm, yeah, after you got spammed, I got spammed by the same spammer about 10 minutes later. My e-mail replies were hysterical! LOL

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