Shortly after the last post my email account has been hijacked. I didn’t even know what this meant, in cyberspace, till it happened. I was sound asleep when a hacker from Malaysia started sending thousands of emails to any person I have vaguely had a written contact with in the past 10 years. “Help!” was the subject. It said in a charmless way that I had been robbed while in Malaysia for a conference and that I was stranded with no passport, no computer and not even a dime on that side of the world. A request for assistance from my friends followed.
I didn’t get immediately what was the point of the obvious scam. Come on, who on Earth could believe that:
1. I would go to a conference in Malaysia (I am no banker, no doctor, no business woman, no activist. I am a
2. I would send a blunt email in English asking for money. It’s not 1995 anymore, when you could collect call your parents after losing/spending/being robbed of your holiday cash so they could send to the local post office a little something to survive till the end of the week.
I was wrong. A friend I don’t see often enough, living on the other side of the world, replied to the hijacker, asking for a more detailed account of the facts. The Malaysian pirate answered back, even more bluntly than in the first email, asking her to wire 300 USD, asap. Luckily, she didn’t buy this last exchange and called me to find out what was going on. So I guess these guys might actually make some money from this sort of scams.
It took me another 48 hours to get that they had changed all of my emails parameters, added filters in order to receive all of the incoming mail and IMAP access. Resetting everything took some time (spent reading technical forums on the subject) and left me with the sour taste of violation. To prevent this from happening to you, check regularly you google account activity: had I ever done it, I would have noticed the unusual activity from Malaysia…
The first Autumn wind left me literally speechless as I discovered first hand what a larynx is and what happens when it is inflamed and I resigned myself to spend a couple of mornings in bed. Reading.
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. , by Adelle Waldman, is a delightful debut novel and I recommend it to anyone sensitive to anthropological dissection of characters, elegant, detached writing and a very realistic description of the generation born end of 70s-early 80s. Nathaniel P. is a writer in his early 30s, who just got a conspicuous advance on his first book and wonders the street of Brooklyn and of its literary scene, experimenting in relationships and becoming an adult. The book reminded me of an early Alain de Botton, if you are familiar with his work. The best review is on the New Yorker.