The World Needs More Heroes (And Why You Should Protect Yourself More in Cyberspace)

The past three months have been a ceaseless string of computer reformats, password changes, and whatnots. For over 10 years in the blogosphere, one would think that the online world is somehow much safer compared to the physical world. But it’s far from it. In fact, you might be surprised to find that the computer world is more brutal in the sense that even wimps can hide behind their computer tricks just to pelt mud and give you a hard time. The world needs more heroes, and whether these heroes come or not, you still need to learn how to fight for your own rights to digital privacy and digital freedom.

Let me tell you a story. It’s not as fascinating as the story of how the NBI captured computer course graduates of AMA in Balut, Tondo. The trio apparently managed to hack most of the websites of government agencies and even managed to steal the money that the US Embassy was supposed to pay for their electric bill. No, it’s not about the hacker who got raided and jumped off the top floor of his building with his laptop but only managed broken bones and was still arrested by the NBI’s team.

This is about things as they happened  to me in the last three months.

And you know what? If you are going online for whatever reason and you are not careful, you might be the NEXT victim of this horrible crime in cyberspace.

It was in the week of January 25, 2013 when my fiance and I started noticing peculiar things happening on our Facebook accounts. One day, he just could not see our engaged status (we changed our Facebook relationship status last january 7). We were shell-shocked to discover that in fact, the posts from January 1st to 15th were DELETED on both our timelines by some random prankster. Of course, he or she is not so random and we have some suspects in mind.

I thought I was much safer when I deactivated and eventually deleted my Facebook account. I even subscribed to that Gmail 2-step Verification thing which sends a text message to your cellphone after you login with your password. Gmail supposedly sends a one-time 6-digit code (which actually works again after 1 million login attempts).

It did not end there. On the eve of February 25, 2013, the hacker took advantage of the Gmail 2-step verification. He ran a bot that bombed with text messages, amounting to 400 SMS delivered to my Blackberry in TEN MINUTES or less. I think his objective was to burn my sim card. A last minute password reset saved me. I was keylogged the second time around. This event happened sometime between 10:30pm to 11:00pm.

The third major hack happened last March 6, 2013, early in the morning (or probably March 5 in the evening and I was too sleepy to notice). The hacker attacked my Lenovo Le Pad tablet next by injecting a virus that prompts an alert message ceaselessly. It continued to alert with the same popup message until the OS combusted and the whole tablet refused to boot normally. I had to wipe out my memory card, but it was to enough to save my new Android device. It was 7am.

Anyway, I suspect he or she (is OR they are) still around. I surmise that my Windows OS is still infiltrated by this invasive keylogger remotely connected to my hacker’s computer, and the self-installing worm from my Gmail inbox that is too small to be detected by an antivirus and can VERY EASILY install itself infinite times no matter how many times you reformat your computer.

Oh, and Macbook being safer? Slightly. There are now growing communities hacking Mac’s OS so I guess pretty soon, Windows and Mac users will be on the same boat.

Having warned my readers, let’s now turn this article towards this perpetrator, a wimpy person who resorts to cyber tricks and cannot even face his or her own personal issues squarely or in an adult manner. He or she has not been too careful with the numerous digital traces he or she has left.

What kind of pleasure do you get out of pestering a happy and soon-to-be married couple? Are you really that miserable?

Enjoy the keylogging and the worming of my Windows OS while you still can. Because I know for a fact that you are a sad person. And instead of feeling all hassled by your mess, I pity you. How can life be so sad that you will turn a computer into an object of distress? You monitor us digitally like a hawk.

Is life in the real world so sad that you just needed to make us sad too?

Eventually, all that sadness will eat you up until the day comes that the earth shall open up voluntarily to swallow you alive. By then, you will be  very old, sufficiently powerful with computers and street cred to boot (if your senility can allow you to type or hack as fast as in your youth), and ALONE.

Aren’t you tired of your life? Even before you arrived in our digital lives, I was a constantly tired person. Because I always had something productive to do. In fact, if you only take the time to look for problems to solve, you’d have a handful yourself. I wish you could just use your talent to bless people. I admire your persistence and your intelligence. But beyond that, I guess you have nothing else.

Hadn’t it been for your hacking attack, I will never notice you. I am too absorbed with my life and the love of my life to even notice you no matter how powerful you are with your computer.

The world needs more heroes, and here you are, using your God-given brain to be a villain. The world has so many gigantic problems bigger than your personal grudge. We could have used your brain to save the world. And yet, you have chosen to embrace the dark side. At least I can say that my engineering maps have some significance in them, that it helps map hazards that can warn people in times of disaster.

What have you constructively helped for ruining a couple’s digital life? I guess you never think about life as a meaningful venture, but some of us do. We have jobs; we are busy, and we do not usually have the time to nurse a grudge to the point of destroying someone’s email address.

And while you try to remove everything, I still have to keep my blog because board exam takers are waiting for the next tip.

I guess no one is waiting for you. I am sorry that you are so sad. I am sorry that you do not have a hand to hold in times of your distress. I am so sorry that you wasted all your years of education and expertise just to do something this pathetic. I feel sorry for you, really. I wish I can just transmit the love and happiness and gratitude that I feel. But I can’t. And given this magnitude of pain your have reflected bitterly over the last three months, I don’t think you will ever feel love.

But I hope that somewhere and sometime, you will experience real love. The kind that makes you want to step out of your computer. The kind that makes you wake up early in the morning because reality is better than your dreams. I guess only that can change your darkened mind.

I am happy with the love of my life. And I have had my own share of hardships, hardships that no longer have a place in this public online space. I have had monsters in the real world just like you, dear hacker. And I got rid of them and the nightmares they bring, even to the extent of being a monster myself just to shield myself and step out.

I write always from a place of pain, I write all these words from a place of feeling unjustly invaded, but I always remind myself that if I have survived far worse horrors than this string of hacking incidents.

I know that you are still a blessing to me and my fiance. You have opened my eyes to how UNSAFE the online world really is. You have opened my eyes to how GRATEFUL I should be for having a wonderful partner (I cannot imagine having you for a life partner. It must be a miserable thing to experience.) who does not invade my privacy the way that you did. You have opened my eyes. And now more than ever, I am thankful for my blessings, blessings that you in your misery can never have in life. You just made our relationship stronger with what you are doing. 🙂 So thank you for wasting your time on us. Actually, I might even be flattered for the unbelievable level of devotion that you have in my life, if I was not so unjustly infected by the virus and stench of your evil soul.

How a person can turn himself into a real criminal just to hold a personal grudge…

People should be more careful.

The world needs more heroes.




















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