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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Aggressive Hacker Attack On My Forum, PayPal, And E-mail Is Obviously Personal

Somebody out there must really be mad at me right now. I don't know what I said or did to deserve any of the things that have happened to me this week, but whatever it is I apologize. Since Monday, I have been under a daily barrage of hacker attacks on my forum, PayPal account, and e-mail account from someone who no doubt is holding a grudge against me since they are doing their best to make my life a living Hell.

Here's a brief timeline of events that have taken place this week:

MONDAY, APRIL 7
My discussion forum was taken over by a hacker who replaced all the low-carb threads with ones about marijuana, cocaine, and pornography. The hacker totally disabled my administrative access to the forum as well as to all my moderators. Additionally, this person began posing as other people on the forum, including me, claiming that I didn't want to talk about low-carb anymore because "we all know you need carbs" and that I'd rather talk about drugs instead.

TUESDAY, APRIL 8
My PayPal account which had a good amount of money in it was hacked in the amount of $81.93 made payable to a digital video download company called Movielink, LLC. Since I had never even heard of this company, I thought this was one of those fake PayPal "phishing" expeditions that sucker people into giving their username and password to crooks. But when I went to the PayPal site to inquire, I noticed my balance was reduced. I immediately contacted both Movielink and PayPay to report this unauthorized charge and transferred all of the money that was there to my checking account. Around midnight, the Admin of my forum told me it was back up again, but he said we lost about 6 months worth of posts and subscribers.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9
When I logged in to my e-mail account this morning, I noticed several of the "new" e-mails in my box had been marked as "read" because they were no longer bold. I immediately got on the phone with Charter and changed my password. Additionally, a PayPal debit card was created in my name without my authorization. The $81.93 charge was refunded to my PayPal account. But worse than all of that, the hacker got the forum again (just hours after it came back) and sent the following message to the entire member database at my forum posing as me:

You must click the following link in order to recieve our new information on the forums. Nobody can be trusted as we have lost everything and only the few of you loyal members will receive the information on our new whereabouts.

Here is the link. Open it on your computer and you will be asked to enter a code. After that it will give you the link to the new website. This way the hackers cannot follow us.

Sincerely Yours,
Jimmy Moore


DON'T CLICK ON THIS LINK! IT IS A VIRUS FROM THE HACKER!!!

So, how's YOUR week going so far? Can you believe the audacity of someone to put together such a string of nuisances in the span of just a few days? Well, it's happened now and at such an inopportune time since I am leaving out of town today for that trip to Atlanta and then Phoenix (I'm already running late so I could write this post). And I can't help but think the timing is almost TOO perfect.

While I don't have any specific proof yet about who is doing this obviously personal attack against me and the people who support me this week, I have my suspicions that it is related to a now infamous diet scam artist who has her reasons for wanting to come after me. Again, this is just a gut feeling, but I don't really know yet. All I do know is that person had access to my username and password at her web site and made the connection to my forum, PayPal account, and e-mail account. I have since changed all my passwords everywhere.

As I previously wrote in this blog post, if you were at all affiliated with that web site in any way, then you need to take precautions to protect yourself against an attack like this, too. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS and get protection from companies that guard your personal information. Thankfully I had already done that with my credit months ago.

What happens next? Well, stay away from the forum until I can sort out how to place more protective measures on it to keep it safe from hackers. My public relations company says I should probably start over from scratch with a brand new site and I may just have to do that when I get back early next week. In the meantime, there are some EXCELLENT low-carb forums out there and you can find links to them at my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Links" blog.

When I am finished writing this blog post, I will be contacting my local police department to advise me about how to proceed forward investigating this crime which I believe is "terrorism." That may sound like a strong charge to make post-9/11, but this person is doing their darndest to terrorize and bully me with these cowardly tactics. Too bad for them, it ain't working. I'm not going anywhere, so you might as well get used to seeing and hearing from me early and often.

Please feel free to e-mail me at livinlowcarbman@charter.net if you have any information to share with me about prosecuting the person or persons who have perpetrated this crime against me this week. If I can prove who did it, I will bring charges against them to the fullest extent that the law will allow. This is uncalled for and I do not take it lightly. The person who did this doesn't know who they're messing with.

THANK YOU to everyone from my forum who alerted me about the virus message today and I do apologize for that. Please delete that message immediately and I'll communicate to you through my blog when we are ready to relaunch the forum. One thing's for sure--you can't say this low-carb lifestyle thing is boring anymore, can ya? :) Take care everyone--it's time for me to hit the road! SEE YA!

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39 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so sad someone is doing this to you Jimmy. You have been invaluable in my continued journey eating low carb. You and Christine have given so much of yourselves to the low carb community and at no cost to us, the people you help. I am very sad to see someone do this to you! Pat in Mich

4/09/2008 11:37 AM  
Blogger Barbara B said...

This was a vicious attack from someone who obviously had your paypal account and password in their files. And 6 months of posts lost! There are people who will stop at nothing.

Barbara B

4/09/2008 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Hugs!
Jess

4/09/2008 12:43 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

I'm sorry as well and that it came at a time when you should be enjoying yourself. I admit it is so weird not having the forum to log into daily. I look forward to a new site.

Hugs
Colleen

4/09/2008 12:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Bunnell (TB)--TB said...

Jimmy

As much as I dislike Heidi Diaz, aka Kimmer. I don't think it was her. -- Just a gut feeling but dopers looking for excitement in the world of hacking is as common as soup and crackers. There diverted and distorted hormones and masculinity and aggressions manifesting themselves as accomplishing great feats of know-how and secrecy and destruction. Your Forum's management probably doesn't want to admit it but probably everything found was accessed through there site.

No matter what It's just another lesson learned.

Tom

4/09/2008 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I nearly opened that email, but thought I should check your blog first...good thing I did.
I'm sorry that someone is doing this to you, I hope that you are able to get this mess straightened out and get back to helping the low carb community.
Linda in CA

4/09/2008 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well I DID open the email, but it wanted me to do some type of "run" on it, and my virus scanner went off the hook with a big RED screen warning me to STAND BACK so to speak, im still kinda freaking out that I opened the email! I hope nothing happened, I think they wanted me to run that thingy first though. I have no pay pal account though and not a whole lot for a person to get from me on my computer

4/09/2008 3:04 PM  
Blogger Wifezilla said...

Mean people suck.

4/09/2008 6:38 PM  
Blogger Robin Bayne said...

Sorry to hear all this! I got the email today and did click on it, but then saw it was an exe file and didn't follow through. Thank goodness! Hope it all gets staightened out soon.

4/09/2008 6:59 PM  
Blogger Amy Dungan (a.k.a Sparky's Girl) said...

Amen Wifezilla!

4/09/2008 7:30 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

WOW,

Sorry to hear that mate!

That is very violating!

Scumbags!

4/09/2008 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I don't care for the less than honorable business tactics used by Diaz, I think your mere unfounded suggestion of implementing her says a lot about your own character.

How rude!

4/09/2008 8:26 PM  
Blogger Wynn said...

I think Jimmy knows who did and did not have access to his password and admin details. Knowing who would be out to personally attack and steal from him if probably not so much grasping at straws, so to say. Usually people who are "hacked" sadly enough, are people who give out such personal information.

I am NOT blaming you Jimmy! In the end it is usually trust that ends up getting a lot of people screwed over, and in this case, a serious breach of trust. To suggest his OWN character is at fault for trusting people with his private info, well is downright insulting.

Jimmy, you should contact your local FBI office who is responsible for terrorism over the internet. They take it VERY seriously where I live, and I am also taking steps to forward the virus email to my own local branch as an attack on my person as well.

Good luck and hope to receive a REAL email from you soon!!

4/09/2008 9:51 PM  
Blogger theTRUTH said...

Hey Jimmy,
Did you use the same pw for your site, and email and paypal? Was it the same pw you used for your kimkins account when you were there? If so, I think we can put 2 and 2 together on this one...

4/09/2008 10:01 PM  
Blogger theTRUTH said...

Nevermind. I see you answered that already when I read closer. Doh. Sorry about what you are going through. Don't know if HD has the skilz, but she may know people who do. I don't know anything about hacking myself.

4/09/2008 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see you accept DONATIONS via paypal which is supposed to be secure.

Sounds to me more like you are your own victim of a phishing scam.

Maybe you got an email asking you to confirm something at Paypal?

The clever part of these type scams is that the link does take you to the real Paypal site. Some nifty cross site scripting allows the scammers to retrieve the information you then type in.

4/10/2008 1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jimmy,
I found a list of the latest phishing scams, here's a link to the alerts on the 9th, (note: active paypal scams)
http://www.fraudwatchinternational.com/phishing/index.php?page=4

Also paypal issues a security key for your protection now for $5.00, kind of worth it for your own protection & peace of mind. Here's a link with more details about it!

http://www.paypal.com/en_US/m/demo/demo_SecurityKey/securitykey_us.html

:)

4/10/2008 4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy,

Sorry to hear about the blog.

lowcarbscott

4/10/2008 8:30 AM  
Blogger renegadediabetic said...

My first reaction was to suspect a disgruntled Dean Ornish devotee or a PETA activist. :)

Your ideas make sense. I was disappointed to see the forum get hacked. Sorry to hear it went beyond that. It is a viscious personal attack.

4/10/2008 9:41 AM  
Anonymous REGANDY said...

JIMMY ... this is SO terrible! I hope you can find out what it is all about and where it came from. I realized that with your forum out of commission, ALL IS NOT RIGHT WITH THE LOW CARB WORLD!! I mean, I didn't post that often, but just KNOWING that you were there was good. PLEASE let us all know when you are back to running!!
REGANDY

4/10/2008 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for all these troubles, Jimmy.

Yours is a value forum and I hope it will one day return (in a safer incarnation).

Thankfully, I was too busy to click on the link (in the e-mail). I did read the e-mail but didn't have the time to post on the forum so I put it off.

I encourage you to follow-through with your attempt at prosecuting this criminal. This is a crime, no doubt about it.

Stay strong, Jimmy. Don't let this drag you down. Pray for strength and know that we're behind you.

Hope the conference is as wonderful as it seems.

Kind regards,

Harry

4/10/2008 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Hamlin said...

"As much as I don't care for the less than honorable business tactics used by Diaz, I think your mere unfounded suggestion of implementing her says a lot about your own character. How rude!"

Who says it's unfounded? Do you have any evidence exonerating her? And who are you to judge Jimmy's character? The least you could do is have the guts to use your real name instead of cowering behind the "anonymous" tag. How rude!

4/10/2008 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who says it's unfounded?
a)Pay Attention, Jimmy said it was unfounded right here in this statement:
{While I don't have any specific proof yet}

Do you have any evidence exonerating her?
a)No, do you have any evidence convicting her?

And who are you to judge Jimmy's character?
a) I am nobody, & I didn't have to, it spoke for itself!

The least you could do is have the guts to use your real name instead of cowering behind the "anonymous" tag. How rude!

a)Rude??? You're the one being rude Mr. Hamlin....Why do you want my name? What difference does it make to you?

The owner of the blog can decide if they want to accept anonymous comments or not, that is their choice, not your decision, & is an available option, if you don't like it, talk to Jimmy & tell him to change it!

4/10/2008 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Hamlin said...

"While I don't have any specific proof yet"

That does not imply that he's directly accusing. Police arrest "suspects" all the time, but gather evidence before actually sending the case to trial. You want to try again? Nobody has convicted anyone yet, least of all Jimmy.

Jimmy's character is not in question here. I think it's highly ironic that you are so defensive of whomever has attacked him.

I also find it funny that you can hide behind anonymity and hurl insults at both Jimmy and myself. Why the objection to giving your real name anyways. No it doesn't make a difference to me, but anyone can hide behinf a keyboard. At least I am man enough to put my name out in the open and stand by what I say.

4/10/2008 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am assuming that they got into your paypal because you used the same password as on some other systems? If so, start by asking what other systems have both your e-mail address (paypal login) and the same password.... this hopefully will narrow things down a bit. Lesson to learn: Never use the same password on two different systems! And never use a password or pin that can be found on your drivers license (street address, last 4 digits of phone #, birthday, etc.).

4/11/2008 10:52 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Yes, anonymous, already taken care of. Thanks to everyone for your supportive comments.

4/11/2008 11:06 AM  
Blogger Grivno said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this, Jimmy. You're in my thoughts. I hope you have a wonderful trip despite this awful violation.

Best,
SusanMarie

4/11/2008 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were hacked... but we all lost.

We lost Charles' dedicated hard work in summarizing Gary Taubes' book (Good Calories, Bad Calories) chapter by chapter.

We lost Valerie's knowledge, a blow to me personally, since her approach to diet is so close to my own. We lost a record of the spirited debates between these two committed and informed individuals.

Then we lost the record of Linda Sue's careful experiments and her helpful tips -- plus recipes from various sources -- and Renegade's interesting links for diabetics.

And the list goes on. I am in shock and mourning... yet all I've done the last two months is lurk, reading avidly all the while. You don't know me, but I know and appreciate all that you've done.

Bring up a new forum... and I will post at first availability.

Best wishes to you in dealing with this mess... have a great trip!

Andrea / Munch

4/11/2008 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See if you can contact someone at blogspot to give you the http logs - they may keep them for several days, and at least you'll have IP addresses to investigate. It's likely that this was a simple smash and grab, so the logs should provide you enough evidence to at least find out what IP address was doing this. Paypal should have similar anti-fraud log files available for analysis. Make sure you get them to preserve the log files before they get rotated.

Worst case scenario, the hacker used an anonymous proxy, but my bet is that they probably weren't that intelligent. Most likely they hacked from a library or coffee shop, but even that little bit of information can give you a lead to what city you should be looking in.

4/12/2008 12:51 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

All is not completely lost. The internet archives carry the earliest days of the forum and more will be added as time goes on. It takes about 6 months for new pages to show up as archives so eventually we will be able to access much of what was posted here. It's not gone forever.

4/12/2008 12:44 PM  
Blogger chickycola said...

I did click on the link like I stupid idiot cause I havent been around the board in a long time, didn't realize that there was a problem.... I dont know if I got infected...I dont know what to do... I have AVG.... nothing happened when I clicked on the link...Man I feel so stupid.

chickycoal

4/12/2008 4:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin M. said...

Just so you all know, HD has a habit of posting anonymously or under psuedonyms to the forums of those she disagrees with or who disagree with her, posting subtly negative and positive comments to cloud her identity. She justs wants the attention and interaction. So some or all of the "anonymous" comments above totally fit her behavior profile and are probably her. She is a mentally unstable person who just wants the attention. Don't be fooled and don't give it to her. Her own "diet" site is sinking, so this may explain her sudden attack on Jimmy and the LC community, who really "outed" her scam. Her true identity, whereabouts and history are now widely known, so she won't get away with much.

4/13/2008 11:32 AM  
Blogger Vesna VK said...

Jimmy, how awful!

Have you explored all possible avenues of retrieving backups? Does the host of your forum keep any backups?

This is a terrible reminder to everyone of the importance of keeping backup copies of all important data. Whatever works for you, do it, do it often, and keep your data on more than one device in more than one physical location.

Sarah, what Internet archives are you referring to? My first thought was to use Google to bring up all pages from the forum domain, and then look at cached copies. And start saving these off to our hard drives like mad. If you know another method, please let us know!

4/13/2008 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never use the same password for accounts.
I have one for forums and one for mail and one for banking

I change them every three months and I use a online password generator so that is is always some crazy config of letters and numbers etc

This is just general good practice for online safety that everyone should practice.

4/13/2008 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going through withdrawals!

Craig (Rawnut)

4/13/2008 11:09 PM  
Blogger darleen said...

Jeez, I'm soooo sorry this happened to you Jimmy. And I am sooo missing the forum. I checked in everyday and also hate losing all the valuable info.

4/14/2008 9:57 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

We're working on bringing it back soon, so keep reading my blog for details. THANKS!

4/14/2008 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Brandon said...

Jimmy, you are an inspiration to too many for anyone to ruin your words of wisdom. I look forward to your words and hope nothing but the best for you and the community. I am sorry you had to go through so much but we are all behind you and are willing to do anything to help.

4/15/2008 11:09 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS Brandon! I appreciate your support. :)

4/15/2008 11:24 AM  

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