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User Journal

Journal Journal: Greetings from the FBI

Recently, we here at Goofball.com received an ominous phone call from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The agent - we'll call him Agent X - was calling from the San Diego Field Office - the FBI's headquarters for their Cyber Squad unit. Agent X had left a message at our office to call him back as soon as possible.

Robnoxious and I were the first to hear the message and after wetting our pants and shitting a couple of pickles, we tried to figure out why he'd be calling us. My immediate thought was that it had something to do with a recent intrusion on our machines I had detected a little while back. Yes, it's sad and embarrassing, but we were victims of some "black hat" hacker types. They did no intentional damage, but they rendered one of machines useless in their attempts to take it over. They had a day or two of fun, but through their own carelessness were caught. So I went into psycho-geek mode and began implementing tight security to basically lock down all of our machines. I went insane getting to the bottom of it all, doing tons of "just in time" learning. It was a terrible feeling to have to work this way (desperate and violated). I went thirty hours straight during a completely lost weekend. It's pretty scary what you have to worry about, but it could have been a lot worse. Tons of sites get hacked and defaced all the time. Everybody's a wannabe hacker these days, even crusty old ladies.

So my feeling was that during the time period they'd gotten in, our machines were used for some criminal purposes and the FBI had traced it back to us. I had heard of some denial of service attacks that had taken place elsewhere in the world and I was wondering if one or more of our machines got pimped into part of the action. I played phone tag with Agent X for a few days and then finally we spoke.

He was not calling for the reason I thought he was. He was calling because "several people had called in reporting seeing a video of a murder on Goofball.com". I couldn't believe this is why we were getting a call from the FBI. He wanted to know the origin of the video in question. Of course, I told him I'd find out. Then we got to talking a bit and I found out he was actually a pretty cool guy in general. I told him we were under the impression the video was fake, but he said that they'd "been looking at it very carefully at the FBI office and weren't so sure". He told me we were not doing anything wrong by having the video on the site - unless "it is real and we were a party to it". I told him the reason it was up at all was that we've pushed the limits with our videos so many times, that people were complaining.

I told him about the hack. He assured me that what was done to us was illegal and that he could help us follow up, particularly since I had all of the info on the intruders who broke in (they didn't cover their tracks very well). In fact, they still continue to try to this day. We left off that I'd call when I found out where the video came from.

I contacted the Goofball fan who sent in the video who was very helpful. It came from another website. Great. So I tried to get in contact with Agent X for a few days, and when I finally do, he tells me the case has been transferred to Agent Y. He says Agent Y will call me later today. Agent Y never called.

So what can we surmise from this little story?

  • People who come to Goofball actually thought we posted the video of a murder?
  • The FBI actually thought the video might be real?
  • The FBI doesn't finish investigations?
  • The FBI doesn't care about medium sized sites getting hacked?
  • Goofball.com has exhibited bad taste in even publishing this video?

I really don't know what to make of it all ...

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