Earlier this week, I received a bunch of dire emails from Yahoo! threatening to delete my blog. Why? Well, according to them, my site contained “malicious code.” Yikes!
The email suggested that I change my Yahoo! password, which struck me as potentially “phishy.” What if this was bait to lure me to a fake login page and snatch my password with keystroke logging malware? It happens!
I Googled several phrases from the email, and found that there is, in fact, a scam along these lines which used the exact same wording as the email Yahoo! sent me. However, in my case, it turns out that the emails from Yahoo! were legitimate, and that a plug-in for this blog had, indeed, been hacked.
Here’s what I did, in case it ever happens to you:
- Backed up my blog
- Did a full scan of my computer with my antivirus and then also with Ad Aware.
- After clearing my machine of the Trojan that was discovered by Ad Aware, I reset my passwords. (You don’t want to reset your passwords if you have any malware still around.)
So that is where my allotted blogging time has gone this week. What a brain drain. I feel like the people in today’s photo: There I was, strolling along when a shark leapt from the bushes and swallowed me whole!
I am not paranoid by nature, but I must confess that this incident makes me feel like I am living out the world’s most mundane thriller:
In a world where people tweet about what they had for lunch, one freelance writer struggles to defend her hacked blog from malicious code…
Actually, this incident compelled me to add “The Net” to my Netflix queue. Not because it’s a good film – it’s not. I want to see “The Net” because of the way in which it is bad. I want to see it again because of what it says about our cultural paranoia, and how unabashedly the storyline plays on people’s ignorance and fear of technology. As I recall, the main character’s life gets ‘hacked’ by a CD-ROM (and not in a nice Lifehacker way, either.)
I saw “The Net” when it first came out in 1995, so the details are fuzzy now. I saw it with with some fellow early-adopters of the Internet, and the preposterous plot had us all squirming in our seats and laughing our heads off.
There is a scene in “The Net” in which Sandra Bullock uses her laptop at the beach which really makes me roll my eyes. (Aha – here’s a link to a photo of her character using a laptop at the beach on a site called, appropriately enough, Cinema de Merde.)
Not only is the “laptop at the beach” scenario an enduring cliche in movies and ads, but it’s also one of my biggest pet peaves. Here’s why:
- If you are going to spend time at the beach, enjoy the beach for crying out loud, instead of burying your head in a spreadsheet!
- Unless you are at the beach at night or during a total eclipse, you are not going to see a thing. Laptops are really hard to use in bright sun.
- Back then, especially, there was very little battery life for laptops so you might be able to pretend to work while lounging on your chaise in the sand for, oh, an hour at the most.
- Sand in your keyboard? C’mon!
I just dug around and discovered that, according to Perez Hilton, there may be a sequel to “The Net” in the works, except it will be a TV show. Just what the world needs, right? I’m sure they will do much more fact-checking this time around. ;p
How about you? Are there any books, movies, or TV shows that are fascinating to you precisely because of how dated they are, and what they reveal about the prevailing ideas of their time?