(Flash fiction entry to this challenge)
Kathy had a blog. It was a bit of an adult one in content, for she was very much into the “alternative lifestyle”.
All right, let’s be honest: Kathy was kinky. The blog was open to all, it was on a website that Kathy owned through an offshore shell company. The website, which hosted in a small island nation, provided for a fair number of sexual offerings, all for a fee, of course. The website had some rigorous security protocols, for which Kathy paid a lot. The website made her more than that. A lot more than that. She had a nice house on a large piece of land in the North Carolina hills; the website made the mortgage payment and more.
Kathy thought that she was pretty careful. But one day, some asshole began hassling her about what she did to make a living. It started with snide comments on her blog about the “whore of Babylon”. Kathy was not religious and her first thought that the writer was referring to Donald Rumsfeld’s deal in the `80s with Saddam Hussein. But the comments soon became nastier and more personal.
She deleted them as fast as she could. Then she put on full comment moderation. The asshole retaliated by coordinating with some of his zealot buddies, they tried to take down her site with a denial-of-service attack and they came close to doing it. Her IT consultants set up mirror sites in other countries to prevent that from ever succeeding.
The asshole then ratcheted matters up. He began sending her e-mails with more and more personal data. When he sent her an e-mail with her real name and address, Kathy went to the cops. They were amused, at best, and told her that until the clown did something other than send her nasty e-mails, to just ignore him.
When she found her cat on her front porch, gutted from sternum to anus, Kathy stopped being scared. She got mad. The obvious steps were to install an alarm system, better locks, and start carrying her Glock 23. Her daddy had always told her that the way to win a fight was to not wait for her enemy to strike, but to take it to her opponent.
So Kathy did.
She set up another bank account in the Cayman Islands. Then she went to an Internet café and researched hackers. She found a hacking forum, joined it and posted that she was being cyber-stalked, she wanted to know who the guy was, and that she would pay for the information. She struck a deal. In four days, she had the name and information she needed. She put the agreed-upon amount into the bank account and gave her hacker the account number and transfer codes.
An attorney friend of hers in Boston sent the asshole a cease-and-desist letter.
Asshole sent her a truly threatening e-mail, along the lines of “no attorney can stop me from bringing down the wrath of the heavens upon you, you whore.” That pretty much was the opening salutation. It went downhill from there.
Kathy contacted her hacker friend and asked if he could hack into asswipe’s computer and not leave any traces. He said he thought so. Kathy told him what she wanted to have done. The hacker demurred, he was worried about his legal risk. But he vouched for her to a group of Ukrainians in Kiev, who were more than willing to look into doing what Kathy wanted.
Two weeks later, they e-mailed her hotmail account to tell her they could do the job. Kathy set up another bank account in the Cayman Islands and had her agent there manually deposit the down payment, in cash. (Kathy was no fool, she was not willing to do a wire transfer with hackers of this caliber on the other side.)
AP WIRE. Virginia Beach, VA.
A third year law student at Regent University was arrested early yesterday morning in a raid conducted by FBI agents and local police. Sources in law enforcement say that the student had over one hundred images of child pornography on his laptop computer.
Possession of child pornography is a Federal crime, punishable by up to twenty years in prison.
The name of the law student was withheld by police.
Kathy had her agent in the Cayman Islands deposit the rest of the fee for the Ukrainians. She added a 20% gratuity.