Laughing all the way – I’m hacked

September 6, 2012

By Pat Detmer

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About a month ago, my email address was hacked and used for nefarious purposes. It wouldn’t be fair to publicly rake my email provider over the coals since it was later reported that three other providers had been compromised as well, but I will admit that when I opened my inbox and saw what was happening, I said, “Hey. Oh hell.”

Then came the alerts from helpful friends letting me know that it looked like I’d been hacked, because they had received emails from my address with no verbiage in the subject line and only a suspicious hyperlink in the body. I tried to stem the digital bleed by sending out an email to my entire address book telling people to ignore it. That act was only marginally successful, and I was buried with ominous MAILER DAEMON messages into the night, advising me that these people or addresses no longer existed.

I get these kinds of emails from friends all the time, and I simply ignore them. I’ve come to believe that most folks are fairly Internet savvy and realize that if Aunt Maude in Peoria, who usually asks for the latest baby pictures and provides a list of the recently deceased in exchange, sends an email and it only shows a link that includes the words “babes+boobs” in it … well, then something is afoot and it’s probably not really an email from Aunt Maude in Peoria after all.

Given this recent experience, I realize that I need to prepare for the eventuality of a reoccurrence. I have decided to use this forum to provide a pre-emptive disclaimer:

  •  I have never sent an email without a Subject Line. Usually, it’s “Detmer here” or something equally mundane. And if I’m sending a link, I would never send it without explanation. I’m a writer, a word-lover, and would never think to let a hyperlink float by itself in a sea of white. And if I’m sending a hyperlink, it will usually be accompanied by something apologetic like, “I rarely pass these things along, but this is pretty funny.”
  •  I have not now, nor have I ever, been an agent of a company who provides any of the following:

— Products that enlarge any body part.

— Products that reduce the size of any body part, usually belly or thigh.

— Advice related to money-making schemes or working from home.

  •  I do not now, nor will I ever, email anyone at 1 a.m. unless I happen to be tipsy in Tuscany.


You can reach Pat Detmer — who would like to be tipsy in Tuscany — at patdetmer@HeyOhHell.

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