Story Update (10th March 2015)
Yipee. Sanity has been restored it seems, touch wood. The cyber-attacks on this site and SFcrowsnest.org.uk have dwindled away in the face of the counter-measures suite we introduced, and the attacks on the social networks have been taken care of too. Thanks to everyone who helped with suggestions of who to contact and how to beef up our anti-hacking systems. It’s great to know I have such well-connected and knowledgeable readers. Back to writing for me, now!
A quick note to my readers sending me pictures/details of your cosplay costumes, etsy handiworks, artworks, indie-published books, etc and hoping for a re-post on my author’s page at https://www.facebook.com/steampunkish – I have to suspend new posts for the moment.
My online presence – web and social – has come under sustained assault recently, taking the form of a scary level of hacking attacks on my own web sites, in conjunction with fraudulent HMCA takedown notices and bad content reports aimed at removing my social media accounts.
Pinterest has already closed my board down in this face of these wave attacks and FaceBook is now sending me auto-generated warnings that https://www.facebook.com/steampunkish is about to be deleted.
The main attack began after my vocal support for the author Becca Mills . . . her books were recently taken off Amazon by a scammer (also) filing fraudulent HMCA reports against her works, so he could sell pirated copies on Amazon without competition from the real owner. Given the timeframe and similar payload of attack, I’m working on the presumption that the assault on my internet presence is by the same criminals in revenge for Becca’s books now being returned to her by Amazon. You can read Becca’s story at http://the-active-voice.com/2015/03/01/nolander-blocked-at-amazon-and-smashwords/
I have sought professional advice and shored up my own web site’s digital defences (for obvious reasons, I won’t detail the measures taken). Sadly, FaceBook and Pinterest are proving every bit as faceless and useless as you’d expect – responding to online reports submitted by me of this attack with canned responses stating they ‘value my feedback’.
I guess one lesson for fellow authors – and indeed, any advertiser spending bucks with FaceBook – is to never rely on 3rd party social services such as FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest et al as a component of your ‘platform’ (how I loathe that wanky word). I have invested seven years of regular posting and many thousands of pounds of FaceBook advertising building a page with over 108,000 users, and it looks like that is now going to be deleted with nary a human-intervention on the part of FaceBook.
I know this is all online (sense of perspective and all that), but when your self-employed livelihood is also largely online, this sort of nonsense is the equivalent of a competitor creeping around to your high-street shop at midnight, pouring petrol through the letterbox and flicking a match after it.
Thanks, FaceBook. As Douglas Adams once wisely observed, ‘So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish’.
This is shortly to be placed in the hands of the police and my lawyers, but I’d like to apologise to all those in my online community for not being able to engage with you on FaceBook presently.