While I was out of the country, my Gmail account was compromised. The attacker changed my password and security information and proceeded to send phishing links to everyone in my mailbox history.
I’ve had my Gmail account since 2004. Every single e-contact I made in the past decade received a “Hello” attempt from me. As a result, I got hundreds of worried replies from people I had not seen in years. From high school classmates to college professors to the Indian consulate in Sydney. It was embarrassing and heartwarming, in a way.
Having my account hijacked was unfortunate, but somehow this third-party attacker managed to put me back in touch with all the people whose lives I’ve crossed in the last decade. And reminded me that some of these people are pretty darn awesome. I should have my Gmail account hacked every year.
I don’t know what all damage the perpetrator did to my account. I’m guessing that by now he’s seized my bank information and is going to town in Mexico. Needless to say, if you received a strange message from me in the past couple days, please don’t click on any links. And if you did, you should probably change your password. Or, just let the hacker say “Hello” to everyone in your email history for you.