Were My Bank Accounts Targeted By Hackers Because of My Political Analysis?
Identity Theft Sucks.
This past Friday morning I missed a call from my bank, and they left a somewhat generic voicemail from the fraud department asking me to call them immediately. I called them back as soon as I saw the voicemail, and they oddly told me that they couldn’t verify my information. I was then told to bring two forms of ID with me and physically go to the bank as soon as possible. They refused to tell me what was going on, and simply insisted I go to the bank.
As I was getting ready to go to the bank, I got another call from the fraud department and answered it this time and finally got an explanation of what was going on.
According to my bank, someone called the bank a few hours earlier from my phone number. Meaning whoever called the bank knew my phone number and had the technical means to spoof the number. They then provided my address, social security number, and other verification information required to get the bank to reset my online banking password. By doing this they were able to successfully get into my bank accounts, and to make matters worse they called back a second time an hour later and were able to get access again a second time.
Luckily, my bank caught this quickly after the second call, locked down my account, and nothing was stolen. I still however was forced to spend 2-hours at the bank, and take several protective security measures. Even so, whoever was responsible still has enough of my information to potentially be able to do this again, and I am completely powerless to stop them, and so are you if your personally identifying information is ever stolen.
Who the hell stole my information?
This right now is the big mystery, given the fact this person had the technical capabilities and skills to spoof my phone number, was able to obtain my phone number in the first place, knew which bank I used, my address, my social security number, and answers to my security questions also raises a number of red flags.
I am absolutely paranoid when it comes to security, and take many measures online and offline to prevent myself from being targeted, tracked, advertised to, and monitored by outside forces. I can assure you, I was not the source of the data leak, and I was not socially engineered to give up any of this data. I work in cyber security, and I’ve been practicing various forms of operational security or opsec for the past 15-years. I even stopped writing for years because I didn’t want to bring attention to myself for this very reason.
I repeat, I was not the source of the data breach.
With all of that said, there’s only a few remaining yet horrifying possibilities of what just happened to me:
- I was personally targeted by a hacker who thought I had money. They could have come to this conclusion perhaps by reading Wil Wheaton’s smear post against me accusing me of being a millionaire (I am not, although I wouldn’t mind if someone wanted to give me a millions of dollars). What Wil Wheaton did was essentially paint a target on my back for ID thefts and hackers, which is why I replied asking him to take his factually incorrect post down. It is possible a hacker then bought or sought information about me in an attempt to steal from me thinking I had money.
- It is also possible I was merely targeted because of my address and neighborhood in San Francisco. Although, I only have a 1-bedroom apartment in a 3-story building with a locked gate and private mail slot no one else has access to (although my mail still could have been stolen before it even got to my apartment).
- This was totally random, and my information was obtained from someone else’s system that stored compromising information such as a health care provider, bank, or even a government agency who recently suffered a massive data breach. However, I find it suspect that any agency or corporation would have access to everything from my phone number, address, social security number, which bank I use, and have insight into my user names and security questions. Unless the bank itself was hacked recently and compromised my information itself, and simply hasn’t told the public, then it appears this wasn’t a random attack and I was targeted for whatever reason.
- I was targeted by a 3-letter government agency or political operative for my political writing on Medium. Considering nothing was stolen, and the hacker had access to my accounts for nearly an hour before the bank locked down my accounts this could have been someone within the deep state shadow government trying to send me a message. In the past few months I have written about Wikileaks, and attacked everyone from the mainstream media, to David Brock, George Soros, and corporations such as Google; as well as exposed the lack of evidence for the Russian hacking narrative. Compound this with my considerable following on social media, and the fact my election article received over 9 million views on Medium, it is possible I pissed off the wrong person or entity and they are trying to send me a message. Someone also tried to hack into my Gmail account attached to my bank accounts, as well as my iTunes account recently but failed because I use two-step authentication. This would also explain why nothing was stolen when they had an hour window to empty my accounts with a basic bank transfer. Several other journalists, and political analysts I know of on YouTube and Twitter have also recently been attacked and harassed by political operatives and deep state smear campaigns. If this is what just happened to me they likely couldn’t get past my personal security measures, and were unable to troll me through traditional means, so they went after my financial resources instead by attacking the bank’s loose security measures instead. If you think I’m being paranoid, check out this presentation by Kevin Shipp, a former CIA officer and anti-terrorism specialist, on how the deep state attacks people they disagree with.
Given the fact whoever hacked my bank had so much information on me, and had the technical capabilities to spoof my phone number makes this feel personal, but I will likely never know. All I know is I’m a victim of identity theft now, and any of my credit cards and banks can now be compromised at any time from here on out, and there really isn’t a whole lot I can do about it.
I suppose the joke is on whoever put all this effort into hacking my bank accounts because I don’t have much money. I make just enough to live in San Francisco which makes me better off than most people in America, but I still live month-to-month, can barely afford health care, and partake in few luxuries beyond what is necessary for my health, and work.
The scariest possibility out of all of these is that I was just targeted by a 3-letter government agency or political operative who isn’t happy about something I published. If this is in fact what just happened, it isn’t going to stop me, if anything I’m even more motivated because of this to keep hitting publish.
We really do live in some kind of cyber punk dystopian reality. Our entire reality is defined by a fragile finance system where a few pieces of identifying information are enough for your bank to give anyone access to your money. How fucked up is that?
Stay safe everyone, and protect your data.
P.S. If the hacker or person(s) responsible for hacking my bank accounts reads this you can go fuck yourself. You will not silence me.
Update: Wikileaks Vault7 Exposes CIA Deep State Hacking Capabilities — It is clearly within the CIA’s capabilities to hack a bank account.