32 hours of terror, agony, distress and dismay— we experienced the hell that day! Very few of you might be knowing that The Style Symphony was hacked on 11th March, early morning at around 2 a.m. I was online and thought it was due to net problem as I was not able to login the dashboard and the homepage was not getting refreshed for quite some time. Later, I was able to see the homepage but got shocked as there I found a devil’s icon and the poor me took it so lightly, thinking it was some kind of server error. Since, I was able to access the comment section, I replied to several comments there and switched off my laptop.
In the morning, I discussed this with my daughter Maitreni only to realize that our TSS was hacked. Our homepage was redirected to a site called “Cute Hackers Club” where we were threatened to the most disgusting levels. We were intimidated to be killed, kidnapped and were even asked for ransoms. That was indeed horrifying, as whenever we refreshed the page, we were getting newer and more sordid messages to tyrannize The Style Symphony and Maitreni. Those constant browbeating and demeaning demands in English and later in Hindi were so cheap that we can’t even share those screenshots too (it’s against a writer’s/blogger’s ethics and dignity).
Those 32 hours were quite hard on me, I was so distressed and shocked that I roamed here and there endlessly throughout the day at home without getting any work done. Even proper food was not cooked in my kitchen that day. Maitreni remained too depressed to even get up from her bed. My 16 years old daughter Anindhya, who claims herself too busy to even visit the blog once, checked all the 270+ posts of TSS without even missing a single one just to ensure whether our content was safe or not.
But hard times bring forth courage and strength and that came through some good people who offered unconditional support to us despite even not known to us properly. Noted blogger Uttpal K (UK) provided Maitreni constant emotional support while Ankit Chugh offered help too. Prasanna Dasari even changed his dp praying to God for the quick restoration of TSS. But the problem was resolved by Avinash Mishra whose tireless efforts, strenuous endurance, and sleepless night made our next morning brighter than bright and we got the access of our blog back around 10:30 am on 12th March.
Why was TSS the target of hackers?
Neither did we know who the Hacker was nor did we have any clue about his motive. But seeing the kind of threats and language, the types of ransom demanded, we could easily guess, where the problem had arrived from. Even some of our known bloggers could predicate that this was nothing but kind of revenge for a post I had written a few days back. My poem “A wailing soul:Humanity weeps in Haryana“ and some other similar posts written around women’s day might had disturbed the peace of mind of some people and I was being blamed for writing provocative and bold stuff.
Was it so? My poem was a natural overflow of my heartfelt pain caused by a fateful incident, where 10 innocent women’s sanctity and life was crushed by some ferocious people in utter disgusting and barbaric manner. The poem was not at all intended to blame people of a particular caste, creed or state, but was an attempt to disrobe sick minds of criminals. If writing about such inhuman incidents provoke hackers, I care a damn. No one can sensor my words if I’m talking fair and legal (keeping in mind all lawful points). I belong to a lawyer’s family and very well know that no one can violate my ‘freedom of speech’ and cease my ‘right to express’. And through this post, I proudly proclaim that I’ll continue writing in the similar manner in future too.
Calling out the cutest of them all, The Cute Hackers Club!
I don’t know what your real intention was! Was it just to threaten us or ‘twas for seriously damaging us? I do not know even the technical aspects of hacking and all, as I’m a simple paper-n-pen person whose main purpose is to express, that too, by restraining myself lawfully. Writing a poem on suppressed women is not at all a crime but hacking a website, threatening two ladies in utter cheap language and asking for ransom is surely a crime. The law of India never differentiates between ‘Cute’ and ‘Ugly’ hackers. The legal action has been taken by the law. The tech part of the blog has been taken care by Maitreni and Avinash and I will continue doing my job— writing and writing, whether I have to intentionally expose what I feel is wrong, or unintentionally provoke those whose deeds are wrong.
So, dear Cute Hackers, let’s do our jobs. Please try to act ‘cute’ in true sense— do something positive and let me do my job, to tell you the truth. Let’s try and make this blogosphere cute and beautiful! Amen! 🙂