HACKED – Marilyn Armstrong

Isn’t it fortunate I got a second computer!

It turns out this hacking thing is a big deal and it was all over the TV news tonight. They are hacking routers. Apparently, if you reboot your router (unplug or turn it off — wait 20 seconds — turn it back on or plug it back in) will help, but you need a patch from your manufacturer. Which I can’t get because my aging router, bought in 2015 (!) is no longer supported, though it is still for sale on Amazon. Very popular, too.

So to get my computer back, I burned it down. Fry baby fry.

Deleted everything on both drives, added a new version of Windows 10 and now I’m reconstructing it. I kind of forgot what an empty computer looks like.

No documents. No pictures. No application. Nothing at all.

It’s alarming. It took me two tries to get it to “take,” so I’ve been on the phone or the computer pretty much all day yesterday and today. I haven’t been writing or editing photographs. I’ve been figuring out WHO the hackers are — the same groups in India that are sponsored by the Russians and gave us good old DJT, our worst ever president (though to be fair, there have been other stinkers).

This set of hackers are dark web kiddos. Wow. Amazingly, they got nothing. Not a thing. Not a dime. I have been massively inconvenienced, but it didn’t cost me any money and I am extremely lucky. I had to cancel a credit card, create ALL new passwords for anything that mattered.

My brain is spinning. I restored 70,000 pictures to the hard drive and I have to restore documents, but these are all old documents and can really live in the external drives.

Bonnie guarding my computer

I’m sure everyone who has ever been hacked has asked the big question: Why me? There is no answer. People get their identities stolen every day. Credit cards are frequently hacked. This is not even unusual. I suppose what made it unusual was that I am so careful, I didn’t expect it.

Although I’ve restored pictures to my computer, it’s midnight and I’m tired. It’s going to take me a few days get a grip on things again, so I’m probably going to comment when I can, respond as best I can manage, but this has put a big hole in my life.

You have no idea how glad I am that I had my photographs and documents backed up on external hard drives. If I had been using all “clouds,” I’m not sure I could have restored things they way I have. Mind you, I’m not done. There’s a lot of software I still need to download including OpenOffice.

That’s for tomorrow. I’m glad I have my computer back. I wasn’t sure how this would go. It could have been much worse — and this was bad enough.

Reboot your routers, folks. Actually, it’s probably a good idea to do that every day or so. On principle.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

35 thoughts on “HACKED – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Although I do have photos in the cloud they are also backed up on a big 2TB external drive I bought earlier this year. I do my regular back ups on a different drive. I’m thinking maybe all the photos should live on the expansion drive but then if that failed I’d lose them so I still have them on the computer as well. Of course I haven’t got 70,000, yet.

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    1. Do yourself a favor and get a second expansion drive. They are NOT expensive and really, you need two drives. Sometimes, one fails. I was lucky this time. Nothing failed. Unlucky in that I hadn’t saved anything from May, but I think I still have a lot of pictures on chips. I hope so, otherwise, the month is cooked.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I will, the new drive was cheaper than I expected so with holidays out of the way I’ll try to get another one. I wouldn’t care so much if I lost my documents but not the photos.

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          1. True. I was pleasantly surprised to find I could have 2 TB for not much more than I would have paid for one not so long ago. That’s twice the size of my HDD. I do keep my SD cards too so I have the unedited pictures if the worst happened.

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  2. I have all my photos on a separate drive as well as on the computer. I avoid cloud where I can. Now and again we reboot our router. Perhaps we should do it regulatly.

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    1. This is apparently a new thing and it’s hitting Europe even harder than the U.S. — something like half a million European computers hacked … so whatever you can do to protect yourself is probably a good idea. I’m still putting this all back together and a few things that didn’t get saved — lists of passwords for example — means resetting EVERY SINGLE PASSWORD. Headache city! I’m about 50% done. But this morning, I was at zero, so it’s a big improvement.

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    1. If your stuff matters to you, one day, that will matter. Hard drives fail. Motherboards die and if you haven’t backed up, you are left with nothing. I know, because it happened to me. That was when I learned that backing up was not optional. You know, it really is stupidly easy, probably easier than blogging. You plug it in. You put pictures on it. When you’re done, you unplug it. That’s IT.

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    2. Backing up is one of the easiest things in the world to do and a whole lot easier than blogging. It is boring and annoying and I tend to put it off (and I’m so glad I didn’t, this time!) … ANYONE can do it. Really. Anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you didn’t lose anything (except time). I remember now, there was a story a couple of months ago that a huge number of home routers were getting hacked.

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    1. I had NO idea and I’m not sure I’m over the “hump” yet. Meanwhile, I’m still reconstructing this. Same stuff, but for some reason (new version of win 10 maybe?), nothing is falling into place. I can’t COUNT the number of times I’ve done this, but each time, I hate it, hate it, hate it. I don’t want to work on my computer. I just want it to work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, so upsetting. I had a computer slowly die and was madly trying to back things up before it kicked off. Unfortunately I didn’t get it all. I’m constantly thinking of things I need that were stashed in odd places on my dear departed friend.

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  5. Thanks for the tip. I bought my router last year, and so far my malware/virus protection seems to be doing the expensive job I pay it to do, but having had a neighbor have the same issue as yourself, I am not eager to find out if my firewall is impenetrable or not. AND. If I HAD to use Windows 10 (which I suppose I would if my desktop went south, they don’t sell the older versions any more do they and fuggetabout FREE anything anymore)…I’d maybe have to shoot myself. It annoys me that much. Again, so sorry you had to go through this. May those cretins burn somewhere unsavory…

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    1. If you’ve got Win7 you can restore it the same way you restore 10. Let me know and I’ll tell you how. It just takes a REALLY long time. Like — days. Also, check online and see if there’s a firmware patch for your router. Mine was considered obsolete, yours may still be getting updates.

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