E-mail hijacking etc

Below you will find some information about my situation as well some general IT-related information that is good for anyone to know.

Subsection 3 of Section 1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 applies to all current and past content of this entire website and other content as well as to many of my actions (after May 2008).

For those of you who don’t know that yet, in October 2022, I was finally able to determine the identity of the person who became obsessed with me in the course of 2008 and who among many other things had been engaging in relentless and extensive hacking as well as lock-picking and even some animal cruelty.

Dammit. On 1 December 2022, I found a photo of that guy. It’s not him. Dammit.

It was not anyone I knew. In view of his professional background and interests, he must have landed on my business website one day as a result of a web search. A certain combination of keywords would have done that. He has meanwhile indicated that it was LinkedIn where he found me.

This is his favorite photo of me. In my eyes, this does not look like me. In my eyes, this is the face of a worn-out, subdued person who feels harrowed and hounded, embattled, and who’s been bottling up too much for too long. For him, the attraction may be mostly in the brown serious eyes, the dark eyebrows and the serious look on my face.


I had wondered if for example he was an IT researcher for the police who investigated child abuse cases and one day could no longer handle it and went to pieces. (He’s often obsessed with sex, in a pretty immature way.)

It appears that, indeed, something happened to him after which he fell apart. There is a gap of about eight years in his CV. There are factors in his life that caused him to build up a lot of anger and resentment; I seemed to have become the personification of that, the target for him to vent his resentment at. There have been times when he harbored a great deal of anger for me and he has clear manipulative and sadistic traits. He can be highly calculating.

I am wondering to which degree he may simply see it as an intellectual exercise, as if I am the enemy in a computer game.

He pretended to be someone else for a long time, possibly someone he was jealous of, but I am not going to say more about that at this point.

As far as I know, I first encountered him in real life at the entrance to the small apartment building that I was living in in Southampton in the second half of 2008.

I cannot rule out that he may on occasion have sat close to me at a Costa Coffee back then and may even have exchanged a few words in a way that did not stand out to me or that for example I once stepped on his toes when I got off a train that he was boarding. At the moment, I cannot recall any such instances.

That said, he appears to have spent about a month in the flat under mine, between the daytime hours of around 10 and 4, back then. According to his CV, he had several free months at the time. (There are other things in his CV and factors in his life that tell me that this is indeed the “poltergeist” in my life.) If it was indeed him, and that seems likely, then he drove a small red car at the time. I observed that person getting into that car from my window a few times.

I have started to wonder if he already was picking my locks back then as well. I know that the computers I had back then already got hacked back then, but I don’t know the precise timing of when they were first accessed.

At the time when I moved to Portsmouth, he started up a business of his own. Back then, he was living very close to my address. I was unaware of his existence, let alone that he was living that close to me.

I have meanwhile realized that he was already picking my locks in Southsea too. The many other things that happened there, of which I thought they were done by anonymous neighbors, such as that slogan with the arrow on the wall, that must have been him.

I also remember leaving my car doors open one day while I was moving in, walking back and forth, but deciding to start closing and locking them when I noticed someone hanging around near the car, on the corner of Kent Road and Sussex Street. That may have been a coincidence but it may also have been the day when a USB stick disappeared.

I looked all over for it, repeatedly, and was cross with myself for having lost it during the move as I had only just bought it. It was returned to me almost two years later, however, right after this person made contact with me in real life again, in the second half of December 2010. That’s when I knew I had not lost that USB stick at all, that he had taken it from me.

This sort of thing has happened many times since.

I have downloaded a bunch of files for his company from the Companies House website; the business only did well for a year. This must have caused more resentment for me in him. This may be the reason why he has thwarted many things that I undertook.

He once was a colleague of Anthony Burstow, who stalked a local married colleague called Mrs Sant for years and who even followed her to another county after the stalking caused her husband to abandon her. (Anthony Burstow is in prison for life, however, and did not receive early release; early release could have coincided with the beginning of my stalking. Anthony Burstow already had legally changed his last name at least once, namely to that of one of Mrs Sant’s former boyfriends. He started calling himself Anthony Hurdle. Changing your name is a mere matter of completing and submitting a form here in England; you can even do it without submitting a form.) On 2 October 2020, I discovered that there were elements in my experiences that were much more sophisticated versions of things that had been done to Mrs Sant.

They both have worked in Gosport but the eight-year gap in his CV largely overlaps with the stalking activities of Mr Burstow / Hurdle. That is interesting…

https://traceymorgan.wordpress.com/about-tracey-morgan/traceys-stalking-experience/

There’s also been a lot of community harassment from strangers in Portsmouth, however.

I am still digesting all of this, including examining and remedying the effects of having had to deal with someone else’s often extremely controlling actions, anger and sadism for a long time.

What I was subjected to was classic “sadistic” or “resentful” stalking, which is a mix of positive and negative. The mix of positive and negative is often described as deliberately designed to confuse, to keep someone off-balance, hence easier to control, gaslight and brainwash. Controlling the local narrative about you does that too. It renders you relatively powerless and limits your options.

This is how he seems to describe himself:

I am what I am. I’m very gentle. Respect should be reciprocal, in my view.

You bite me, I bite you. That is my character.

You scratch my back, I scratch yours. That is my favorite mode of operation.

He/She goat is my enemy.

If you do not obey God’s word, you are my worst enemy.

I consider anyone who is faithful and truthful my friend.

Being married to my books and giving birth to education is my hobby.

But before anything else, making the impossible possible is my motto.

He’s regularly referred to God, the lord, the creator etc, and I assume – but I am only guessing – that it’s about how he feels because of his hacking skills and his many many connections in the hacker world.


Jul 5, 2001, 9:00:04 AM

From The Times

THURSDAY JULY 05 2001

Stalker who tried to kill girlfriend is jailed for life

BY HELEN STUDD

A MAN dubbed Britain’s most notorious stalker was jailed for life
yesterday after he admitted trying to kill his girlfriend by severing
her hand in revenge for ending their relationship.

Anthony Hurdle, 41, became the first person in Britain to be convicted
of causing psychological grievous bodily harm in 1996 when new laws were
brought in to tackle stalkers. He was sent back to prison indefinitely
yesterday after his second attack on a woman in the past four years.

The former petty officer in the Royal Navy, who served in the Falklands,
attacked Lorraine Nicholson last November after she refused to return
his telephone calls. He broke into her home, tied her up and slashed her
wrist so badly that it severed every artery and vein in her left arm. As
he slashed his own arm, he said: “Look at these eyes, we will die
together,” Maidstone Crown Court was told.

Miss Nicholson, 35, was found unconscious on the kitchen floor of her
home in Ashford, Kent. Without urgent medical attention she would not
have survived.

She met her attacker two years ago when the pair worked together for a
cleaning company at Great Chart Primary School, near Ashford, in Kent.
Brian Higgs, QC, for the prosecution, told the court that she had
recognised him weeks later as the subject of an ITV programme entitled
“I’m Watching You”, about Britain’s most notorious stalker.

When Miss Nicholson attempted to end the relationship, Hurdle began to
stalk her. He would send her letters, appear at her windows and turn up
at her place of work. Five days before the attack a friend of Miss
Nicholson received a message from him on her mobile phone which said:
“Please tell Lorraine her game is over. No call today and I take over
the process.”

On the day of the attack she had already asked him to leave her alone
when he burst into her home. Locking the door behind him, he put her
left wrist on the draining board then slashed through it with a knife.
Her life was saved when her 17-year-old son, Bobby Grindley, returned
home soon afterwards. Hurdle, who said his crimes were committed because
he could not cope with the end of his relationship, then cut his own
wrists, telling Miss Nicholson: “You are going before me.”

Judge Andrew Patience recommended that Hurdle, who admitted attempted
murder, should serve at least seven years in prison and said the Home
Secretary should be left to decide if he could ever be released. A
psychiatric report confirmed Hurdle would commit similar offences again
if allowed to walk free.

Hurdle has a long list of previous convictions for stalking dating from
1993. In 1996 he was jailed for three years and banned from Berkshire
for stalking a former Royal Navy colleague, Tracey Sant, over several
years. Within months of his release he was stalking her again and was
sent back to jail in January 1999 for another four months. Hurdle also
asked a fellow inmate to stalk her while he was in prison.

——————————————————————–
(c) The Times

In such cases, the targeted persons’ friends and family members, neighbors, colleagues etc are also often recruited, indeed.

It seems to me that prolonged stalking of a stranger is hard to accomplish without the profound otherization and dismissal of that stranger by society at large. When you become stalked by a stranger, almost everybody else starts otherizing you and rejecting you. To some degree, neuroscience can explain why that happens, but it’s also often deliberate callous selfishness or sheer judgemental ignorance.

Here in England, a lot of strangers in the community may then decide to target you as well, simply because they can see that not all is well. It makes it relatively risk-free to them, they reckon, because it looks like you’re “not right in the head”.

I wrote this in 2011:

Below is some more general information.


Are you aware that Dutch Rijkmuseum Twenthe was scammed out of 2.66 million euros when criminals hijacked an e-mail communication with a British art dealer? E-mail hijacking is a very common occurrence, according to this January 2020 article in Dutch major newspaper TROUW:

https://www.trouw.nl/binnenland/het-rijksmuseum-twenthe-is-niet-de-eerste-die-werd-opgelicht-via-e-mail~ba4fba79/

Bloomberg and other media had this news too:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-30/fraudsters-posing-as-art-dealer-got-gallery-to-transfer-millions

Many more cases have hit the news since, usually involving major companies transferring a large sum to a scammer’s bank account.

Here is another explanation of how it can be done, but what is not often mentioned is involvement of staff at providers:

https://www.investec.com/en_gb/focus/fraud/latest-fraud-scam.html

Phone line interference

Another example of how communications can be interfered with in the digital age. In this case, police officers pounced on two innocent bystanders, at least one of which they should have been able to recognize. It alerted the criminals of the police’s presence. That the officers who bungled this case consider phone line interference “sophisticated” indicates how far behind these self-proclaimed “experts” are:

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/feb/08/bank-couple-lose-43000-but-cant-get-a-refund

By contrast, put your hands together for these girly swots, dorks, dweebs and geeks in the Netherlands who hacked into the cameras in the office of the Russians who had earlier hacked into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the US:

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/01/dutch-intelligence-hacked-video-cameras-in-office-of-russians-who-hacked-dnc/

Voice cloning, anyone?

If you’re on YouTube or TikTok, anyone can sample your voice and start making phone calls posing as you.

https://www.respeecher.com/

https://www.veritone.com/blog/what-is-voice-cloning-and-how-does-it-work/

Lack of security at utility companies etc

The security on most utility accounts etc is still as good as non-existent. They ask you to “prove” it’s you with information that is often publicly available and stored in so many accounts, such as your local council’s. It means that anyone who is determined enough can call your electricity company and for example get your account closed, telling them that you’re moving house. Almost none of these companies ask you a “secret” question to which the answer is or should not be publicly available on the internet.

What is my address? What’s the last part of my post code? Those are not security questions at all!

My YOB is available on the internet (part of legal requirements to protect you against me scamming you). Yours may be out there on the web too. Many social media companies alert your connections that it’s your birthday, usually without revealing your YOB. This is just one example of how people can end up with someone’s full DOB.

(Check your privacy settings regularly because social media companies change them often and sometimes reset them or add something that makes you broadcast private information into the world.)

Another problem is that these social media companies insist on having your DOB these days when you open an account, yes, but you can put in any date you want. If you put in a fake date, that’s not good for if your account gets hacked and you need to submit ID to get it back. If your social media content is not crucially important to you, then it does not matter what kind of DOB you enter, but entering a fake DOB can help protect you.

Two-factor authorization (2FA)

Phone cloning can enable someone else to receive your texted login codes. Texted login codes can also simply be intercepted.

Two-factor authorization (2FA) apps, however, carry the risk that you lose access to your account and may be unable to regain access if your phone suddenly dies on you. The backup process for 2FA apps is not only a little too complicated for many people, it can also be hard to remember where you’ve kept the damn json file or the 12-word or 24-word recovery phrase because you so rarely need those things. Hardware login gadgets carry the risk that you lose or misplace them.

That said, 2FA apps are likely your best bet. If you have trouble backing them up or restoring them, ask your nephew, sister, best friend or granddaughter.

I tend to use a number of different phones for different tasks so that I can keep my communications separated. It may make me look a little suspicious when I go through security when I travel but hey, I get that. Using lots of phones, that’s what criminals do, right?

(Here’s another tip: Never buy a used or ridiculously cheap phone online.)

Trust but verify

Some years ago, a number of people here where I live received postal mail telling tenants to start paying rent to someone else. This is something that people tend to fall for pretty easily. If you point this out, people may call your paranoid and delusional, but I too can whip up official-looking stationery, send letters in which I tell people to send me copies of their documentation and to start paying me from now on.

Be aware of cognitive bias

When you are focused on verifying one thing, you tend to overlook anything else that may be off. I learned that from Petter Hörnfeldt (Mentour Pilot). Two examples follow.

After my hacker changed the bank account data in one of my outgoing invoices, when I was correcting that, I was so focused on checking the account data that I did not notice that the dollar and euro amounts were incorrect (about 50 pounds’ worth too low) but the pound values were the right ones. Guess which account my client paid into?

Yesterday when I was looking for matches at the supermarket, I completely overlooked them on the shelf.

That’s because I was looking for something like this:

However, this was on the shelf, neatly tucked away next to the barbecue products in matching colors:

PS
My IT security pretty much sucks these days because after I got targeted by persistent hacking and even lock-picking, all my horses had already bolted and the stables were empty. Any new horses I bought kept being released too. After that, making all sorts of information public became my friend.

We’ve become so obsessed with keeping information private – while handing it all out to Google, Apple and Amazon – that it’s become harder for us to verify information and that enables scammers to get us to pay them. Voices have recently started up for bank number verification when you pay someone. We used to have that in the past but privacy concerns put a stop to most of it. People became too worried about scammers taking money from their accounts so crime now focuses on getting people to pay money into the scammers’ accounts.

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