Thursday, April 01, 2004
SUV Drivers Take Heed ...Here is a weird one. Very, very weird. I'm glad I don't drive an SUV! In my local paper yesterday, the following article appeared. (Normally I would just link to it, but my local paper is so local that they apparently haven't heard of the internet yet!)
SUVs Drivers Target for Serial "Shame Hacker"March 31, 2004 At 7:45 yesterday morning, Bob Hamas left his home to begin his morning commute. When he saw his car, however, he decided against it. The 2003 Chevy Tahoe had been plastered with pornographic images by a vandal. The crowning touch were the words "PORN ADDICT" spray-painted in huge black letters over the car. He was utterly horrified, and could not understand who would do this--or why. "I'm sure all my neighbors saw my car this morning, since most of them leave for work earlier than I do," Hamas told reporters. "What are they going to think about me now? The thing is, I just bought this car last week. I've been married 23 years, and I'm most definitely not a porn addict." Hamas went on to explain that the person he had bought the car from, however, possibly was. FBI Agent Marion Jeffords instantly recognized Hamas as the latest victim of a strangely unique series of crimes that have recently sprouted up along the west coast. He's calling the crime "Shame Hacking". "There's some very disturbed individuals out there," said Agent Jeffords. "The crime is very new and very bizarre. The person or group behind it is obviously bent on some political statement, and not personal gain. They might be environmentalists, or a person whose loved one was killed by an SUV." The vandal only targets people who drive SUVs. He or she hacks into the SUV driver's account somehow--possibly by doing a DMV search against the license plate. The "shame hacker" somehow gains access to the vehicle owner's internet accounts and delves into their personal lives to surprising detail. Then, when the hacker discovers some shameful secret, the SUV driver finds blatant evidence of this secret plastered on their vehicle for the entire world to see. The spree of vandalism has happened in all major metropolitan areas along the coast of California--a total of 37 reported vandalisms in the past 3 months. "And that is just the reported number," said Jeffords. "I have a feeling that the nature of this crime causes many cases to go unreported." According to Jeffords, dozens of lives have been affected and damaged by shame hacking. • A woman in Bartow had her Lincoln Navigator spray painted with the words "5 ABORTIONS". • A man in Visalia actually had printed out e-mails glued to his Hummer, along with the word "CHEATER" in large black letters. The e-mails were between him and the woman he was having an affair with. His wife filed for divorce as a result. • A couple in Santa Maria had their Ford Expedition painted with the words "FILTHY SWINGERS", and covered with nude pictures of them that had apparently been culled from internet sites. • A San Diego man found "HE HAS AIDS" spray-painted on his Ford Explorer. He did indeed have AIDS, though he had told no one other than medical professionals involved in his diagnosis and treatment. The FBI is continuing to investigate, and urges everyone to exercise caution when providing personal information using the internet. Those who have created e-mail accounts should never provide their real names, addresses, or social security numbers. Also, be sure that when you sign up for an internet service that you use a different password to log in than the e-mail address you provide them. "Most people use the same password for everything," says Agent Jeffords. "A system administrator for an internet service can easily get access to your entire life if you're not careful."