This is Bryan. First, I’d like to welcome the new subscribers. If I could open-mouth kiss all of you, I would, but I have dry mouth.
You’ve come at what is turning out to be a weird time.
I’ve been hacked. It’s a strange mystery, the kind of mystery dumb true crime podcasts would devote a series of NPR-esque announcers to tackle.
Some background. After my Great Foot Misadventure last year, I thought of the idea of Capitali$m $uck$ due to the crazy medical bills (with great insurance, no less) I was getting. CS was my attempt at cataloguing the misdeeds of Capitalism. As with every idea, I made a logo, Old Scratch:
Then, when bored, I’d make graphics like the one at the top of this post. I hadn’t published any of the graphics. I made about ten images from my own personal graphics library, none of them published online because I didn’t really know what to do with them. The project, as I’ve said elsewhere, is still very much in Jell-O form.
So, I found an old WordPress blog I used to do and bought the domain name gebryan.com for a year and attached the blog. I thought I’d just write reviews and post old noir graphics until I figured out what to do with Capitali$m $uck$.
Then, just a few days ago, the odd post “Capitali$m $uck$: The Early Days of Future Interactions” just appeared on the site.
I didn’t write it.
Okaaay, I was hacked. I went into my admin settings to kick out the unauthorized user and try and figure out what happened. I found out I no longer have admin access, but can still post. I don’t understand WordPress.
Odd, but basic hack behavior. A little more searching, I found two anomalies. First, the site was paid for BY ME until the year 2173. Literally, thousands of dollars. No money had been deducted from my account. How? Was someone impersonating me? It was paid for on January 15, 2022. Then, second, a new e-mail account was also paid for BY ME until 2173. The e-mail, email@example.com, did appear in the gibberish new post. Hmmm. I was able to find the first four digits of a credit card in an invoice in the account section and they match the first four digits of my credit card. Again, my bank account was fine with no money deducted or pending.
I did some searching on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can do a lot of things on the internet with just an e-mail address. I found it tied to a Twitter account, @digitaltessa1. The name on the account is “The Digital Representation of Tessa Tillman,” just like in the weird new post.
So, immediately followed it on my Twitter, @gebryan. Not to drum up followers, but I’m now using my Twitter to retweet the strange account. The account even uses my same avatar, how did they get that graphic? I never shared that graphic with anyone. It was to be a surprise once I figured out how to use it. I’ll use my Twitter to repost any tweets from “The Digital Representation of Tessa Tillman,” whatever that is. I also noticed some of the tweets had graphics that I or, surprisingly, my friend Matt had created, but hadn’t posted anywhere online. Some of the graphics really look like something I would make including elements from my own private graphics library.
It gets weirder. I decided to look at all the posts on my site from the past. Usually, after I make something I don’t look back. However, I saw a bunch of posts THAT I DIDN’T DO posted on my site IN THE PAST. Can you change the publishing time of WordPress posts?
My head hurts.
So, I’m asking for your help. If you see anything from email@example.com or @digitaltessa1 anywhere else on the internet, let me know. I’ll keep you updated.
It’s a stone-cold mystery.
….And now back to your regularly scheduled reviews.