01 Feb Why I stopped hacking. For good Part 1
I grew up all my life glued to a computer. When I first started talking I was already browsing through my uncles computer, switching between games. By the time I was 10 I was taking over my families msn accounts and making them send each other awkward messages. I was 10 at the time so the messages were stuff like “I hate you” or “give me back my power ranger”.
As you could imagine, I had no friends growing up. I was bullied and pushed around a lot. I’m autistic so I guess that was the reason. I don’t know, nor will I ever. My old man kept telling me I had to stand up for myself, that I had to show them I wasn’t afraid. Truth is I couldn’t fight back. I tried, but my punches were weak and my kicks would tickle. I spent the best part of 6 years thinking the only way I could fight back was by physically fighting them. Little did I know that the world I grew up in, the virtual world, was about to become the second life for everyone.
From here on, my mistakes started to pile up. I was 16, everyone was using facebook, twitter, whatever what was popular, people flocked to it. I had a ‘main’ bully as you could say [Brock]. Brock was the definition of an asshole. I guess it made what I did to him easier to live with. Brock loved to brag. His girlfriend was hot, his figure was fit and he was amazing at sports. His only downside was he was dumb as shit. And he hated anyone that excelled acedemically. Surprise surprise, I was a smartass. I was incredibly good at solving problems. I guess that was the upside to my autism. He hated that and proceeded to make my life a living hell.
I tried fighting back again, again using my weak body. Forgetting my strongest weapon was my mind. One day I was browsing Facebook and found Brock as a suggested friend. He was in my world and suddenly, something clicked. I created a burn account, jazzed it up and made it look legit. I added Brock as a friend and proceeded to find out as much as I could about him. I found his girlfriend and added her too. I sent Brock an email from “Facebook” claiming his account had been compromised and to download a PDF file with all our security measures updated. Of course to keep his account he downloaded the document. Fool. I had access to his Laptop and proceeded to find everything there was to know about him. I knew so much that at any point in time I could tell you where he was, what he was doing and who he was doing it with. I had his laptop camera send me images every so often to know what he was up to. When his girlfriend came over, I was ready. I booted up my “online dating” application and started sending messages to Brock. “Hey baby, can’t wait to see you tomorrow, last week was a blast”. I won’t go into so much detail but due to the fact that I knew what he was up to, it was easy to convince his girlfriend that his online babe was real. I didn’t stop there, I downloaded on his laptop as much gay porn as I could find. At a time where homosexuality wasn’t as accepted as it was today, you could imagine how his parents reacted to his “fun drive”. He didn’t come back to school since then, my guess is he moved out of town. I don’t know, I didn’t care to look anymore, to me that was a small victory and I relished in it.
Now I wish I’d have stopped there, oh God I wish I stopped there. But I was addicted. That feeling of justice being served by my hands was one I loved and wanted more. So I targeted criminals, the type that used the dark web to hide and spread their filth. For 4 years straight I was a pain in their asses. Pedophiles, rapists, heavy drug dealers, you name it. If they were online, I was making their lives a living hell. I thought I was being smart, I thought I was hiding myself pretty well. But fuck man, something was following me every step of the way. And it would soon tell me.
I woke up one morning as any normal day, made eggs and toast for breakfast with a glass of Orange juice. Booted up my desktop and browsed Reddit. The usual was on, guys complaining that something was overpowered, something was underpowered, the game designers weren’t listening. The usual morning chuckle. Then I heard a ping, the Facebook messenger notification sound. Funny, I didn’t open Facebook yet. Maybe I did and forgot? Wouldn’t make sense as I rarely open Facebook. It was odd but not enough to sound any major alarms. A message from someone I don’t know, “Hey Danni. What’s the weather like in Japan?”
What the fuck? Weather in Japan? I’m on the other side of the world. The name read James Puckerson. On my other monitor I started to go through his profile trying to find any mutual friends, someone I met in a party or something. I responded with “Sunny I hope, anyone who knows me knows I hate the rain”. I keep looking but nothing of interest pops up. James replies ” Ooooh a funny guy. Tell me Danni, do you enjoy playing games?”
At this point I think he’s referring to video games. “Yeah dude, what did you have in mind? League of Legends? DoTa? I don’t mind.”
“Oh Danni, I didn’t mean one of those childish games, I mean a real game. You know, the type that involves putting ones life on the line”.
I let out a chuckle, someone probably hacked my Facebook account, added this weird ass account and is now trolling me.
“This isn’t a joke Danni, I take these games extremely seriously”.
Ok what? How did he know I laughed? Did he guess? There’s no way he can see me, my camera isn’t even plugged in and how could he have gotten into my apartment? My Facebook profile had a fake address on it and I never used my real address for anything, not even amazon or eBay. This has to be a joke.
I wrote: “Sure dude I’m bored as fuck anyway”. I was buying time to try and find out where this son of a bitch was. I scoured everywhere trying to find any small clue to latch onto. Found something, kept going and looked into it more. Eventually leading up to an address. When I looked at the address I froze. I could feel my blood draining from my face. It was my address. I was the only one living there but somehow this asshole was using my address as a cover. Ping! Another message.
“I see you’ve gone extremely pale Danni, what’s the matter? Don’t believe in ghosts?”
I couldn’t move, this guy could see me, he knew every move I was making and I didn’t know what to do. Do I run away and burn everything down? Fry my hard drives and shred my motherboard. What the fuck is going on?
“Ring ring Danni, ring ring”.
My phone starts to ring, but it isn’t James, the caller ID read “mum”. I pick up.
I hesitate to speak, I can’t show my mum I’m afraid of something, she’d worry. I try to act cool.
” Hey mum, everything alright?”
What I heard next made me drop my phone in horror, it made me realise that shit was real and this wasn’t a joke. A voice, obviously modulated to hide the identity of the caller. But the threat was real and I knew who it was.
“Hey Danni, what’s the weather like in Japan?”