I’m being cyber attacked by Russia?

General / 17 October 2019

Long story short, over the last couple days I’ve been targeted by a very aggressive cyber attack.

I never thought I’d say that. I know it sounds crazy.

I’m going to do my best to explain without dwelling, because I keep thinking of the words of Dirk Manning, comic creator and respected FB friend. He said something like “promote the positive, not the negative.”

I think he’s right.

I hate to speculate but it’s hard not to consider my current work as a possible reason for targeting. Especially since I’ve already gotten death threats and been censored for same project.

I knew going into it that Trumpocalypse Now would be  controversial. I expected push back, but I never wanted to sell the project based on controversy. I want people to buy it because it’s good and it’s funny.

Anyway, I wish the title of this entry was more facetitious than it was. I’d normally say that the idea that any world leader would be so vain as to even have my work catch their notice and retaliate is crazy, but we also live in a crazy world. I’m sort of forced to accept that my spoofing of world politicians may have made me a target of cyber attack.

It could be coincidental, but shortly after I announced that the next issue of the visual novel series would be free, and that I had found a publisher for the graphic novel adaptation, I started to get notifications from my personal online accounts about failed login attempts.

In the last 48 hours the activity has aggressively ramped up, hacking my Facebook, steam, Amazon, email and other accounts.

One of the email based attacks was sending emails from my account to fake addresses, filling my inbox with bounce back messages continuously in order to fill my inbox to the limit and replace them if deleted, in an attempt to keep me from using my email and getting my real emails. Part of the code and server gibberish clearly contains characters and messages in Russian.

With the exception of steam, which seems to have been the deepest compromise and is therefore taking longer to resolve as I wait for an admin to personally investigate my account, my accounts seem to have been recovered and secured. 

I imagine whatever the reason, someone expected this to really impact my workflow or discourage me. It was mildly annoying, it made me a little behind on work, but I’m already catching up. 

Accounts fixed, desktop de-virused, new passwords etc. 

I’ll even finish the first chapter of the Trumpocalypse Now graphic novel adaptation today, as planned.

Could it be related to Trump? Did he have his Russian friends target me? Is it purely coincidence that the next issue of the visual novel, featuring Vladimir Putin joining the series, is scheduled to release for free in November? Maybe. Maybe not.

To be honest I had thought about just focusing on the comic and delaying issue 5 of the visual novel (since the game is being so heavily blocked and censored anyway), but now I want to try to put it out just out of spite. Some of my software is affected until I get steam sorted out, so I don’t know if this will affect the scheduled release and cause a delay just yet, but if it does, I’ll still release it some time in November anyway.

If I have been targeted, it’s just surreal to think that someone out there has an ego that is so fragile, especially to a political satire that spoofs literally all world leaders. All I can say is if someone has targeted me, they’ve made a mistake in their choice of enemy. I’m literally the worst target to choose. I’m crazy and I’ve got nothing to lose, so there’s no way I’m not finishing this project.

I said that like people were reading this. Ha!

Well, for those that are, thanks!

- Mike