I was attacked by a bot this week. Or maybe it was a Russian. His last name was Metzker, so who knows? That was the name he went by, but I doubt that’s his real name.
He began his missive by announcing, “I know your password is agatha.” Okay so, once upon a time, long, long ago, in a distant place and time, I signed up for AOL so I could stay in touch with my best friend from fourth grade. I was living in Washington state; she was living in Florida. Long distance calls weren’t exactly affordable at the time, so an e-mail connection was our best bet.
And, since I’m a mystery writer, one whose role model happens to be Agatha Christie, choosing that for a password seemed like a no-brainer. And I could remember it.
Please be aware that all this occurred in the mid-nineties, before people were recommending sixteen digit passwords with at least one capital letter, a number, and one of those oddball symbols marching across the top line of your keyboards. (By the way, when it’s summer in Arizona or Texas and you want to tell someone how hot it is, why doesn’t that keyboard carry a sign for degrees as in temperature. Maybe mine does, and I just haven’t found it yet.) But I digress, let’s get back to my favorite Russian.
After explaining that he had my once-and-no-longer-extant password, Mr. Metzker went on to tell me that he had installed malware on my computer and knew which pornographic sites I had visited and that he had films of me from several of those. (Cue the music for FILM AT ELEVEN, because that’s exactly what came next!) According to him, if I didn’t immediately cough up $2700 or so in bitcoin, (Talk about a cheap date!) he would be releasing said films to my entire contact list! And that if I ignored his e-mail (Which I’m not doing!) or reported him to the police (Why bother?) he would release the films anyway.
All I can say is, go for it. Since I’ve never visited or performed on a porno site in my life, I can’t see how there would be any films from those kinds of sources. And even if there were, I can’t imagine that the people in my contact list would find films of a 70-something year-old broad particularly … well … revealing. And if such films do happen to show up, I’ll be utterly astonished.
The following day, someone attempted to log onto my gmail account using the word Agatha. It didn’t work. If he’d tried Daphne, that wouldn’t have worked, either, but I doubt this guy ever heard of either one of those terrific mystery writers.
So there you have it. Another item from my writerly life, but I have a feeling that a dead Internet troll is likely to turn up in one of my upcoming books.
After all, turnabout is fair play.