Today I noticed that one of my e-mail accounts got hacked. There was a weird e-mail where my account was both the sender and recipient, and it started with the hacker pointing that fact out as proof of his success. He also told me that it would be pointless to contact the provider of the e-mail service or the police, because he has covered his tracks so well that they wouldn't be able to find him. I was pretty scared when I read that, because his German was so broken that I imagined he must be the kind of super tough guy who went through second grade in elementary school four years in a row before he got kicked from the school and needed to learn how to survive on the streets.
The hacker's e-mail continued by making me aware that he knows my browser history, plus he planted a tool on my computer that allows him to control my webcam. He alluded that I should know where this is going, but I was actually stumped. I read on and he began to talk about websites that host adult entertainment, congratulating me for my great taste. I felt pretty good about myself at that point, because a compliment was something that I didn't expect; this hacker might not be a bad guy, after all.
But then he said that he created videos that show both what I was watching and also a feed of myself while I was watching adult content. He demanded that I pay him €1000 in bitcoins within the next two days, otherwise he will send the videos to my relatives as well as colleagues at work. I vaguely remembered reading about people from Nigeria years ago. African people who do this kind of malicious stuff, hence why it is called blackmail.
In my attempt to get the money ready, I immediately undusted my NES and hooked it up to an old CRT TV to play Super Mario Bros. 3. While I had a great time with the game, I felt that I was doing something wrong after about an hour. Every time I had collected 100 8-bit coins, the counter reset to 0. I went back to read the e-mail again for better instructions, only to experience two shocking revelations: The e-mail was already two months old and there were another three of the same kind in the following seven weeks. What can I say, I don't check this specific e-mail account very often.
So now I am unsure how much money I actually owe to the hacker. In the second and third e-mail, he wanted another €1000 each. In the last one he asked me for $1000, this time the whole message was written in English. Does he now want dollars instead of Euro, or do I have to pay him €3000 and $1000?
Thinking about this whole situation made me realize that it might be connected to events that confused me in recent times. Last month I got a strange phone call from my mom where it sounded like she was crying and she mumbled that I should know that she will always love me, no matter what. About two weeks ago one of my male colleagues at work walked towards me with a big grin on his face and gave me a high-five, saying that I should keep the fantastic recommendations coming. Two female colleagues seem to actively avoid eye contact with me. My boss granted me the raise that I had been asking for since November of last year.