News About Breast Lump and Porn Ransom on the Same Day
First, please know that the breast lump my doctor found last month was nothing more than a fatty deposit. May as well get right to the point about that. Just when I was imagining how wonderful life would be if I wasn’t hauling around these low hanging mangoes. You guys, most of you don’t deal with aging breasts, so you don’t know how irritating it can be. They are always in the way. Require additional support. And when you get older, it’s a lose-lose proposition. Bras are uncomfortable, but so are globs of fat sticking to your ribs. Can’t win.
Which reminds me, I am reading the last book by Donald Hall: A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety. Light-hearted reading, like you know you’re old when somebody mentions an event 2 years in the future and looks embarrassed. Or, the fact it gets hard to walk once you’re in your 80s. Who knew? I better start walking more and not taking that function for granted because that little fact of life could vanish. Once I finish with this book, I go back in time to read Hall’s Essays After Eighty.
Finally, I can prepare for the inevitable. You know, a real world view of getting old. Unlike Diane Keaton’s obsession with her thinning hair in Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, this brings aging down to a more worrisome level.
However, before I got the news from my doctor that the breast lump was nothing to worry about, I had one more thing pop up on my plate. My husband drove me to the diagnostic appointment. The appointment involved more imaging, plus an ultrasound. Neither the nurse nor the doctor could find any evidence of a lump other than a fatty deposit. Rats. Dashed my hopes of googling how to reattach nipples after removing breasts.
That was my intent when I got home if the verdict was breast cancer.
Instead, I got to perform an even more distasteful act. Imagine you were me, standing in the exam room next to the machine that smashes your breast flat as a pancake while you try not to cry. When I glance at my Apple watch and spot an email. It begins with a porn ransom note, admitting the writer knows my password and has swiped all of my contacts. His plan, if I don’t pay him in bitcoins, is to release a porn video he somehow assembled to all of my contacts. You know what I say? I say go for it, dude. Send me that porn video. Right now. And send it to all my friends, too. Alert the media!
You just can’t make up this crap.
But what the porn ransom note made me do was go back through all of my password accounts. This crook probably picked up a bunch of emails and passwords from some corporate breach. That password was one of my very first passwords from the late 1990s. It was on a lot of websites that no longer exist. It took more than 5 solid hours to change my passwords on pages upon pages of websites, something I should have done 20 years ago. Also, ran Malware software on my computer.
For about 15 minutes at UC Davis, I had something else to think about instead of my breast lump and its consequences. My husband quickly copied and googled the text. If only one victim a week paid the ransom, that’s a good living for the hacker. Turned out none of it was anything at all. Funny how life turns out that way.
If you haven’t changed passwords for a few years, you probably should.