Facebook Hacker Crime Update

I reported the hacking of my Facebook account to the FBI.

I ALSO received a notice from Facebook that my account was blocked because I’d posted porn. Considering I’m the person who requested my account be blocked because I was hacked, I’m very unhappy with Facebook’s clueless handling of this issue, and not sure I’ll be able to get my account reopened—or that I want it reopened.

I’ll see what happens, but so far I could not be less impressed with Facebook’s security or problem-handling.

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104 responses to “Facebook Hacker Crime Update”

  1. wednesday Avatar

    Holly, are you on Writerspace.com? If so or if not, you may want to look at this PC World article:


    Perhaps this is how someone got in to begin with.

  2. LibbyC Avatar


    If a science fiction writer had come up with an idea to induce people to waste time, grow fake veges, insult their bosses (only to have their bosses read their comments and fire them), post stupid photos of themselves that they regret the next morning, and have their identities stolen – and they used it without coercion – would we believe it?

    If only a crater would open up in the earth and suck in their headquarters … after hours, of course. I wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.

    Sorry to hear you have to deal with this crap, Holly.

  3. Sally Abravanel Avatar
    Sally Abravanel

    Sorry to hear that this happened to you.

    Facebook has to be the worst thing to hit cyberspace in many a long year!

  4. Wednesday Avatar

    Eleven years ago, a 16-year-old computer geek told me, “Posting ANYTHING to the web is like writing it on a public bathroom wall. Anyone will see it. Anyone can do anything they want with it.” I can’t see that much has changed since then. Facebook and Twitter may be the current rage, but all I see in them is a lack of privacy and giving same away for free…and for what? So Mark Z. can attract advertisers? So I can advertise myself for free? So they can use me, hack me, abuse me?

    Just yesterday, Holly, I saw your name on the Chatter thread of Fountain Pen Network (fountainpennetwork.com). Someone was asking whether writers’ conferences were worth the money. Someone else posted a better option was your site. “She’s a pistol.” I recc’d you on the site a number of weeks ago. Clearly, someone followed the breadcrumbs to find out how valuable your expertise and teachings are. If you’re good — and you are — you’ll survive and thrive without Facebook.

    I’ve used a pen name for years because I love my privacy, and these social networks demand one’s “real” information…in exchange for what? A Mephistophelean agreement that leaves them with millions from investors, and with a founder named Mark who has gone record as saying, “Privacy is overrated.” Apparently, so is security and taking care of the people trusting him to keep safe their information.

  5. Danzier Avatar

    I vaguely recalled having used FB once upon a time. Sure enough, I found an email I’d abandoned in high school and a still-active account. So I deactivated it. What really scares me is the message that comes up after that: “Your account has been deactivated. To reactivate your account, log in using your old login email and password. You will be able to use the site like you used to. We hope you come back soon.” Otherwise known as, they can hack you even after you shut down the account. Not good.

    Meanwhile, I went hunting and found a joke for you, Holly. Hopefully it’ll do double duty on your migrane and on the FB issues.

    “A programmer is walking along a road and suddenly finds a lamp. He rubs the lamp, and a genie appears. “I am the most powerful genie in the world. I can grant you any wish, but only one wish.”
    The programmer pulls out a map, points to it and says, “I’d want peace in the Middle East.”
    The genie responds, “See, I don’t know. Those people have been fighting for millennium. I can do just about anything, but this is likely beyond my limits.”
    The programmer then says, “Well, I am a programmer, and my programs have lots of users. Please make all my users satisfied with my software and let them ask for sensible changes.”
    At which point the genie responds, “Um, let me see that map again.””

    (The joke’s not mine, it was archived at funnyjokes4me.blogspot.com. Not all the jokes there are funny-to-taste, but it seemed to fit. )

  6. Dawn Hall Avatar

    I am SO sorry this happened to you! It is truly AWFUL!! What kind of sick pleasure do these jerks get from this, I wonder!? I am very paranoid about this kind of thing! I hope it all turns out well for you! And, I hope you get to feeling better real soon! 🙂

  7. Kathrine Roid Avatar

    I guess I can’t say anything new. Just leaving my thumbprint on the “People Who Care and Would Do Anything to Help if They Could” list. 🙁

    These sort of things are the second reason I don’t have a FB account. The first reason is because I would spend way to much time on FB. 😛

  8. Jennifer Avatar

    @Dustin Anderson’s comment

    Lulz may call them ‘pranks’, I call it malicious and even vicious, judging from an email message they returned to one person.

    I’m so sorry, Holly. However, at least the attack seems to be neither personal to you nor due to anything you did wrong. There are evil people out there–sociopaths who sit back and giggle as they destroy other peoples’ lives. I hope that law enforcement can catch them and deal with them properly.

    On a lighter note–up higher in the column, someone said, “…at least they can’t hack into our brains…” Now wouldn’t that be an interesting plot addition? Hmmm…

    Feel better. I’m going to go double check my privacy settings, just on general principles.


  9. Kurt Welte Avatar
    Kurt Welte

    It is a sign of the times that you got hit, they eventually get everyone. Your family Friends and fans will understand that it was not you and support you. I hope that FB gets off their duff and evaluates this for what it was, the work of a sick mind bent on hurting others.

  10. Dustin Anderson Avatar

    Yeah it was definitely Lulzsec/Lulz Security. The same group that hacked PSN, CIA, FBI, and several other government entities. They call them pranks, but this time around it seems they targeted a lot of writers and hopeful writers. A ton of those emails they released were from sites just like yours, and people just like you. It was 62,000 emails and passwords, just for the public spamming a /b/ channel on 4chan. They do this sort of thing a lot actually, and nobody can really be safe.

  11. Tracy Ames Avatar
    Tracy Ames

    Holly, I knew those messages weren’t coming from you. I sent you an email straight away via FB and ‘you’ replied, “[Edited to remove stuff I don’t want on my blog–Holly]

    I was hurt for a split second, then I emailed you via gmail, and warned my FB friends that you’d been hacked and not to overreact to any messages sent from your account. Glad to hear the matter is being sorted. Once you’re up and running please feel free to re-add me. Take care and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

    *The N-word bothers me. I can’t even type it.


    1. Holly Avatar

      Seriously, I’d rather have the whole horrible pile of bile of this site, which is why I’m editing off the response you received.

      And I’m VERY sorry you received it. Thank you for taking the time to let me know (and other folks, too) that my site had been hacked. And thank you for realizing it didn’t come from me. I really appreciate that.

  12. Emerald Avatar

    Huh, earlier comment didn’t seem to go through. Anyway, Dustin is right. You can find your compromised email posted up here: http://dazzlepod.com/lulzsec/?email=holly
    Hacked by the anarchist assholes over on lulzsec.

    It’s not actually Facebook’s fault, it’s actually most likely faulty security on your personal site (since that’s where they got the email). Better get that checked out. Also keep an eye on any other accounts connected to the holly@hollylisle.com address.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Actually, they got my email and password from Writerspace.com, which was hacked. This is the reason a LOT of writers had various accounts hacked.

  13. Anthony Avatar

    Well that’s a drag Holly. Seems like bad things happen to a lot of nice ppl.
    Electronic security is not so secure after all. I read on CNN’s website that the CIA was hacked this week. PSN in April so it happens even to the big guys.

    My heart felt sympathies go out to you. Keep your chin up. All your family/friends/fans
    understand this had nothing to do with you.
    Hope you are felling better soon(er)

    Cheers Holly.
    Thx for all your past n future Advice n Tips

  14. Dee Avatar

    Hey Holly! I’m so sorry some jerk messed up your page! Is there anything any of us can do to get the word out to other contacts you might want to reach? You’ve got quite a network of folks here willing to pitch in.
    Sorry you have to deal with all this…get better soon!

  15. Charles Brentner Avatar
    Charles Brentner

    Hi Holly,
    First of all I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Being sick is never any fun and to have this headache on top of it can’t be easy to deal with. I hope that the hacker can’t cause you any more trouble than they already have done. You would think people had better things to do with their time than hacking other people’s accounts online. Whoever did this should be ashamed of themselves. I hope the FBI can find whoever did it and give them a fitting ‘reward’ for their actions. Such things have to be against some law or other I would think. Take care.

    ~Charles Brentner

  16. Judy Hemming Avatar
    Judy Hemming

    So sorry to hear that this happened to you. Hope you feel better soon.

  17. Dustin Anderson Avatar

    It was done by Lulz Security. They released 62,000 facebook email and passwords to the public in exchange for the public spamming the /b/ channel of 4chan. They posted all about it on their Twitter account, which was where they released the facebook login information.

    1. HF Avatar

      yup, I just downloaded lulzsec’s file to see and Holly’s email addy and password is on there.

  18. Linda Allison Avatar
    Linda Allison

    Hi Holly,
    I was one of the unfortunate ones who got the crap from face book. I’ve had my email hacked last year too and I can tell you ain’t fun. I try very hard to keep my accounts secured also.
    I had sent you a friend request last week on FB. So this morning, when I saw what said you had accepted me as a friend on there I was like great, until I looked at the photo attached to it. I did a double take and thought surely she would not send this nonsense to me? What kind of person would put up a author page up on facebook and then send this crap? I don’t do apps on there and I dont play the games. I use it for keeping up with those people who are important to me. I’m truly sorry for the headache and heartache this has caused you, and hope you will be able to get this unpleasantness resolved soon.
    I guess this is what we get for fb being global.

    P.S. I always sign into facebook with Https:// instead of the unsecure http:

    Best wishes, Lin Allison

  19. Dianna Avatar

    That’s terrible. Someone hacked the account of a friend of mine and put my picture up on their facebook account-a picture of me and my boyfriend, no less-and I’m livid. I’ve considered calling it in, but with the way Facebook treats situations like this, I’m not sure if I really want the headache.

    A lot of times people get hacked because they give other people their passwords-but I’ve heard of hackers on Facebook and I’m not sure if I believe their security is up to par. And facebook is a lot more vital to some people than it is to me-it’s certainly not directly linked to any of my other accounts.

  20. Cindy Schuerr Avatar

    Holly, I’m so sorry this has happened to you. It is so freaky. With the ability to have all of this technology, you would think someone could come up with a way to keep us safe on line. This really angers me.

    I hope you feel better, soon.:-)

    1. Kathy Jane Avatar
      Kathy Jane

      I had the same thing happen to me over the Zinga games. I used my charge card to purchase something. Well a hacker kept hacking my account and I kept changing my pw and closing all of the games. But they someone would crack my pw and reopen my accounts and raked up a nice charge on my charge card. So it literally had to call Zinga and tell them to close my account. Big surprise, they said they could not do that because they had an agreement with FB and they could not close my account, I am the only one that could do that through the Privacy Controls. So after a week of hacking and changing my pw, I had to finally close my checking account associated with the debit card. Then I had to send a certified letter to Zinga and Facebook and threatened them both with legal action. You have to go into you privacy controls and block all of the applications and that is the only way stop it. So after you do that, You have to block each site when someone sends you a gift, when they do that in order to shutdown the invites. Now for the hackers, never use an email that you actually have personal information sent to, so you just need to make up a email on an another server like yahoo or something different then you personal email. Your password should consist of some characters like %$#@ UUUUjjjjjjj9999 mix it up. The more it is the harder it is for them to crack it, also then go to the privacy controls and select the feature that lets you know when someone else logs onto your account from another computer. So you will be asked when you log on to name your computer. Then after you have done all of this you should be ok. It has be along time since my account has been hacked.

      1. Danzier Avatar

        The “name your computer” bit has another layer you can go: actually name your computer. Not “Kitchen” or “Lappy” but something more complex… That way when the message shows up “Your account was accessed by PG346MnL43” (or whatever) you know instantly it wasn’t you, because you named your computer “Harold the Lumpy” and your other computer “Andover Underground” or some such thing.

  21. fairyhedgehog Avatar

    I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this, especially when you’re feeling so very unwell.

    I barely know you but I’m sending you hugs anyway. I hope that’s all right.


  22. kimberlycreates Avatar

    Yup, typical FB ineptitude as far as I’m concerned. Still hoping that they get their act together and do right by you.

  23. Marti Verlander Avatar

    Holly, the good news is that the people who saw the postings this morning were outraged on your behalf. We all knew immediately it was hacked, that this is stuff you wouldn’t post, and threatened everything but bodily harm — including informing the FBI, etc. Your friends and students are very loyal to you, and their responses showed it.

    1. Holly Avatar

      I saw some of the posts—they were forwarded to my e-mail account from my Wall. This was all after the fact, because the FIRST thing I did was get the account shut down as quickly as possible…but afterward, I did have the chance to see what the creep had posted, and what you guys said.

      I have the best friends and fans and students. Thank you. Wish I could pass this on to the folks there who were Facebook only.

  24. Nina Avatar

    I am so sorry to here that. That is why I don’t have a facebook, myspace, twitter or any other of those type of accounts (to the disgust of my children) but I had been thinking of getting them before you wrote. I hope you get everything resolved in your favor.

  25. Chaddock Avatar

    It looks like your Affiliates FB account may still be active. I don’t know it that will help you or not, but thought I’d mention it.


  26. Kathy Holzapfel Avatar

    You’re good. They’re evil.
    Rock, paper, KARMA…

    Fell better fast, Holly 🙂

  27. Barbara West Avatar
    Barbara West

    This happened to me last year–somone hacked my e-mail–Ilost my e-mail and all info because MSN thought I was doing this–I bet you one thing I have learned to put a password that willbe hard to break and even with that, they still could—Barb

  28. Charmaine Clancy Avatar

    Facebook seems hard to contact. There’s all these choose options, but they don’t seem to allow you to explain your problem anywhere when contacting them.

  29. Lisa Honecker Avatar
    Lisa Honecker

    Holly: Fall down seven times, STAND UP EIGHT. You will survive this. Internet crimes are the worst because you the victim don’t know who or what or where to blame. Maybe with all our responses there is a “story” in this bad news today. You have wonderful website. Hugs from New Jersey.

  30. Elaine Avatar

    I’m truly sorry about what happened to your Facebook account and their blaming you. Thank you for taking the time and effort to warn us even though you aren’t well. You are always so good to all of us and don’t deserve this kind of treatment. I hope the problem will be resolved sensibly (even though the trouble can’t be undone) and you’ll be feeling better very soon.

  31. TimK Avatar

    Holly, I’m so sorry to hear about this. If you need any help, let me know. You’re in my heart and prayers.

    1. TimK Avatar

      I just thought of something else. You should probably double-check the security on your email accounts (at least the one that you were using for a Facebook contact email address). Because if someone cracked into your Facebook account, it could also mean that he cracked into your email account, too. -TimK

      1. Holly Avatar

        I’ve changed everything. E-mail passwords too. There’s no indication that my e-mail was hacked, but I didn’t take any chances. gmail, my personal domain accounts—everything is different.

        Thanks for the comment, and you’re right. For anyone this has happened to, ALL accounts need to be suspect, and changed promptly.

        1. Dee Avatar

          So true. I went and changed some passwords after this. It’s sad that someone could think this kind of thing is funny.

  32. Angela Avatar

    You’ve had a rough year. I’m so sorry. I know Facebook is supposed to be thing to do for author branding but I think it’s a time suck and once it gets its tentacles into you you’re marked for life.

    Hang on things will be better. Get well soon.

  33. Melissa Avatar

    HI Holly
    I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you. I am also quite shocked that FB would blame you – even though you explained you had been hacked.
    I have a friend that has gone thru this at leat 5 times in the last year so I can sympathize.
    I hope you feel better soon!!!
    PS – keep up the amazing work – we will follow you where ever you go!!!!!!!!

  34. Silke Juppenlatz Avatar

    Sorry this happened to you, Holly.
    A few of my friends got hacked, and I keep saying the same thing, over and over: Watch what you put out there.
    I actually did a “Friday Five” a few months ago about things you shouldn’t put on Facebook. (http://evilauthor.com/blog/2011/03/friday-five-facebook-donts/ In case anyone wants to read it)
    Your advice was sound about making sure you have the ability to contact people without having to go through a third party site.
    @Elizabeth “It’s far too easy, especially when a site has lax security, to get hacked” — 95% of the time it’s not the site at fault, but the user. People use laughable passwords. And on sites like Facebook, where people post intimate details about themselves, it’s very easy to guess those passwords based on all the information posted.
    Hands up how many of you use your child’s / husband’s / dog’s name or something like that as a password. 🙂
    Aside from that — don’t click links from people you don’t know. Don’t allow every other application to see everything about you — no matter how fun it looks. How do you really know it’s not malicious code?
    Sometimes you’re just damned unlucky, but very often it’s a case of someone clicking something they shouldn’t have. 🙂

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’m deeply paranoid where the internet is concerned. And with Facebook: I used no apps, clicked no links, played no games, and used what should have been a secure password (numbers, letters, and not guessable).

      It might not have been strong enough. But this one might have been on Facebook, too.

    2. Texanne Avatar

      Even I don’t know my various passwords. None of them make sense at all, so I do have to keep them written down–and encrypted, at that. Even if someone found–and recognized–my password list, they’d have a jolly old time figuring out how to use it. It has about 600 entries, about half of them fakes.

      I use no apps on FB, and my personal info is all lies. No use being paranoid if you’re not thorough.

  35. fortune akem Avatar
    fortune akem

    thats too bad olly but dont let it get you down;just concentrate on getting

    better. GET well soon and i hope you sort it out smoothly from now on.

  36. Becky Avatar

    Ugh, this really sucks. Facebook doesn’t care about customer service because their product is free – you don’t pay anything to use it, so they don’t really care about how happy you are with the service. I guess it’s fair, but it’s still ridiculously stupid. I’m constantly underwhelmed with how Facebook handles its customers. Good luck to you – I hope you get this sorted out and feel better soon!

    1. Danzier Avatar

      Facebook’s “fairness” may be a good line into what’s really wrong with it.

  37. Jeffrey Avatar

    Yikes! Getting hacked sounds awful. I’m going to check my FB account and unlink, change passwords, etc., just in case. I’ve already gone through my friends list and unfriended anyone that isn’t family or close friends.
    Yesterday I happened to log on to MySpace account because it’s been a very long time since I’ve checked it. Sure enough, someone else was using it. Strange that they didn’t change the password. There weren’t any explicit pics, but all the music selections were for the 20-somethings, not for a mid-life baby boomer. So, I cancelled the account. I never used it anyway, since I never did get the hang of it.
    I’m going to change passwords on other websites as I log onto them. Thanks for the warning. You’ve performed a great service today.

  38. Greg Carrico Avatar

    So sorry to hear this has happened to you, Holly. You are an inspiration to me, and I hope you come through the painful part of this quickly and emerge stronger for it. Just lay back and relax, and I’ll put the kettle on. (If you have seen the excellent film “Keeping Mum,” I don’t mean it that way:))
    Oh, yeah, Facebook is a pustule on the nose of the internet.

  39. Carol Fillmore Avatar
    Carol Fillmore

    That is just dreadful, Holly…sorry to hear you’re not feeling well, either. I’ve had my e-mail hacked before and that is just such a creepy feeling that someone’s gone in and stolen an id and is using your name to potentially scam money from people. Luckily no one believed that I was in London, had been robbed and needed money anyway. Still I closed that account and had to notify people of a change of e-mail address. I don’t post anything personal to Facebook…too many complaints about security etc and I’m super cautious with my personal information. Good luck with getting that sorted out Holly and hope you’re feeling better really soon.

  40. Orlando Ramos Avatar

    That sounds truly horrible. Maybe we should create a new social media better than facebook. Just a thought.

    Anyway sorry for all the inconvenience and heartache. Good luck with everything.

  41. Elizabeth Anne Ensley Avatar

    I always say that Facebook is evil. That seems to be a favorite target, and I get a lot of spam saying I have Facebook messages when I don’t even have a Facebook account. You have my sympathy, though. It’s far too easy, especially when a site has lax security, to get hacked.

  42. Michelle Avatar

    Holly, that is awful, and on top of you being ill. I’m so sorry.

    Facebook is utter rubbish when it comes to this sort of thing. I hope they help to reinstate your account so you can get in touch with those contacts you have only through facebook. But once you’ve done that, perhaps considering chucking facebook in the bin, where it belongs.

  43. Sharon Avatar

    My sympathies on both accounts: not well and having your Facebook account hacked. Facebook can suck up such an inordinate amount of time that you don’t need this extra injustice. Good luck with it all.

  44. Texanne Avatar

    Marti-V PM’d me this morning, soon after she PM’d you, to say that this had happened. I swear, FaceBook is one of the major portals into Hell. Always smells slightly of sulfur.

    I hope the FBI can/will help you with this.

    More than anything, I hope you feel better immediately.

  45. Violeta Avatar

    This sucks! I am so sorry this happened to you. You know, I’m sick and tired of people ruining things for others. Spammers, hackers, porn-pushers, award-givers, blah! I’m tired of this internet madness. Don’t worry Holly, just go to your happy place and come back tomorrow when you’ve rested. Thank God man has not yet invented a brain-hacking device. THEN we’d be in trouble.. Sigh. I wish you luck with this and good health! 🙂

  46. Julie Avatar

    Ugh, you must feel so sick about all this.

    Try not to let it bring you down too far. and, of course I hope it all gets resolved quickly.

    I hope you put your experiences and knowledge into an ebook as soon as you’ve figured it all out. Other people need to understand the cons of putting too many eggs in the Facebook basket.

  47. Candice L Davis Avatar

    So sorry to hear that you’ve suffered such an attack, especially while you’re not feeling well. I hope things are cleared up as soon as possible.Good luck with it all.

  48. Morgen Bailey Avatar

    Someone hacked into my iTunes account and left me with 97p while I was at the cinema last night (seeing the wonderful film ‘Senna’) so my sympathies are with you. iTunes have promised a refund providing I can prove I’m me (I’ve tried) but it’s not pleasant.

  49. Kelly Avatar

    Yikes, and I bet that was to do with pictures being reported :O FB has no options to say “hacked” when reporting a post. Useless people.

    1. April Avatar

      Facebook actually does have a way to report that a page has been hacked. I reported Holly’s page as hacked twice this morning.

      It was a terrible thing to watch this morning. There were several fans on the page at the time the damage was being done. It started with the picture, then it started sending friend requests, then started changing the personal info. And Holly’s fans there protesting helplessly the whole time. It was awful.

  50. PolarBear Avatar

    That’s why I won’t report an entry on someone’s page that’s obviously spam — FB (despite their believe that everyone loves everyone else and wants to share it all) would immediately presume the only way someone could have posted spam on a site would be if they did it themselves. Then the person’s page would be shut down and it would take three weeks or so to get it back — based upon what I’ve heard some people have had to endure.

    I’d suggest you will want to get your page back for the principle of the matter — then you can delete it.

    1. Cassie Witt Avatar
      Cassie Witt

      I’m sorry this happened to you Holly. In my day job I’m a Social Media manager, so I’ve had my fair share of Facebook issues. Facebook has become such a big company here lately, that it does seem like the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing, let along that it is doing it in another country 😛 But being on Facebook is a good way to build your brand and get more traffic to your website (among other things), so it’s a tough call. I wish you luck. 🙂

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