You’ve Been Hacked!

Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels
Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

It seems like the Internet scams are coming thick and fast now-a-days. I rarely go more than a couple of days without some asshole trying to scam me. People are continually trying to sell me Medicare plans, performance-enhancing drugs, or buy my house. Self-described hot young women send me their pictures offering to marry me or sell me even more awesome sexy pictures.

But then there’s the really offensive people who out-and-out try to defraud me. Like the latest email from some asshole pulling an online exhortion attempt with an email announcing, “You’ve Been Hacked.”

I manage a few other websites in addition to this humble blog/photo gallery/genealogy site. One website, currently just a placeholder, is for potential freelance consulting work I hope to do after retirement. This placeholder business website was the target of this “hack. “

The Ransom-Ware Scam

So, the other day I received this lovely email from one “Dyan Chang” informing me that my business website had been hacked. It was a courteous, informative kind of email. First, the sender requested I forward the email to someone in my company who could make important decisions.

From: Dyan Chang <hacker@ginotpeer.com>
Subject: Your Site Has Been Hacked
Message Body:

Your Site Has Been Hacked

PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO SOMEONE IN YOUR COMPANY WHO IS ALLOWED TO MAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS!

Given my company has a total of one person, this was an easy request to comply with. Then the sender helpfully explained what he/they did.

We have hacked your website https://charestconsulting.com and extracted your databases.

How did this happen?

Our team has found a vulnerability within your site that we were able to exploit. After finding the vulnerability we were able to get your database credentials and extract your entire database and move the information to an offshore server.

So that must have been some move, considering my database consisted of a few old blog posts and a bio.

What does this mean?

Actually, I’m hoping this person “Dyan” will tell me.

We will systematically go through a series of steps of totally damaging your reputation. First your database will be leaked or sold to the highest bidder which they will use with whatever their intentions are. Next if there are e-mails found they will be e-mailed that their information has been sold or leaked and your https://charestconsulting.com was at fault thusly damaging your reputation and having angry customers/associates with whatever angry customers/associates do. Lastly any links that you have indexed in the search engines will be de-indexed based off of blackhat techniques that we used in the past to de-index our targets.

So, the only emails they might find in my database are those of previous scammers who were trying to sell me performance enhancing drugs or sexy pictures of hot women who want to marry a successful businessperson such as myself. I’m sure those folks will be upset knowing there’s someone out in cyberspace planning on destroying their reputations.

How do I stop this?

I anxiously await being told how to save myself.

We are willing to refrain from destroying your site’s reputation for a small fee. The current fee is $3000 in bitcoins (0.14 BTC).

The amount(approximately): $3000 (0.14 BTC)

So, I can save the reputation of multiple scammers for the low price of only $3000 in imaginary money. Whew! But I don’t know anything about Bitcoins. So how do I pay?

The Address Part 1: bc1qj9u7gmjk5kznnnjgs

The Address Part 2: fvs35fftmtfh7n6wk6jt2

So, you have to manually copy + paste Part1 and Part2 in one string made of 42 characters with no space between the parts that start with “b” and end with “2” is the actually address where you should send the money to.

Once you have paid we will automatically get informed that it was your payment. Please note that you have to make payment within 72 hours after receiving this message or the database leak, e-mails dispatched, and de-index of your site WILL start!

How do I get Bitcoins?

You can easily buy bitcoins via several websites or even offline from a Bitcoin-ATM.

So, there are Bitcoin ATMs? Like, I can go into some Seven-Eleven, feed my credit card into a Bitcoin ATM machine and receive imaginary money in return? Isn’t America great? But what if I decide to blow this clown off? What happens then? Fortunately, “Dyan” tells me.

What if I don’t pay?

If you decide not to pay, we will start the attack at the indicated date and uphold it until you do, there’s no counter measure to this, you will only end up wasting more money trying to find a solution. We will completely destroy your reputation amongst google and your customers.

This is not a hoax, do not reply to this email, don’t try to reason or negotiate, we will not read any replies. Once you have paid we will stop what we were doing and you will never hear from us again!

This “Dyan” guy sounds like the Terminator. Relentless. Remorseless. Unstoppable. He’ll be coming for me until I cough up $3000 in imaginary money and then, poof! He just goes away like a summer rain. But there’s a final caveat closing out this ransom-ware email.

Please note that Bitcoin is anonymous and no one will find out that you have complied.

So, it’s comforting to know that if I send him a mere $3000, I need not worry about anyone ever finding out. Except perhaps Winnie. And there’s nothing this “Dyan” clown could possibly do that’s worse than what Winnie would do, after finding out I sent $3000 to some anonymous person in Cyberspace.

Final Wrap-Up

On a serious note, the website ginotpeer.com (no link) appears to have originated from Israel. This is the first time I’ve seen an attack from this country.

Even though this is most likely a hoax, I have forwarded the email to my hosting service with a request that they scan my site for possible malicious code. This blogging site was hacked a few years ago, possibly through a phishing scam, that did result in malicious code (malware) embedded in this website. I paid several hundred dollars to get the malware cleaned out, and my site monitored for the following year.

I have to admit, I get really tired of repeatedly fending off scams.

Follow-up: I just thought to do a Whois lookup on ginotpeer.com, and confirmed that Israel is the country of origin of this scam post.

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