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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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

104 comments… add one
  • Lady Jul 5, 2011 @ 17:07

    Now this makes me feel guilty as both a fan of @LulzSec and of Holly!

  • D. B Jul 3, 2011 @ 19:34

    I’m so sorry for you. For months now I’ve been reading your good writers advice and it’s helped me out a lot. You are in my prayers and I wish stuff like this didn’t happen.

  • Hechmi Ben Chroud Jun 25, 2011 @ 19:12


  • Hechmi Ben Chroud Jun 25, 2011 @ 19:11


  • Catie Rhodes Jun 21, 2011 @ 15:48

    Holly, I’m super sorry this happened to you. I knew something was odd when I got this…picture from your facebook account. Then, I went on vacation and am just now home and catching things up.

    Though I do use Facebook to promote my author blog, I’m not a fan of facebook. If I didn’t get hits to my blog from my FB account, I think I’d delete FB.

    Facebook got into my contacts on my cell phone (when I downloaded and used the FB app on iphone). FB then tried to link me to *everyone* in my contacts list–I’m talking neighbors, doctors, lawyer, etc. You know, people I am not friends with and don’t wish to communicate with online.

    I was and am so irritated about this. I even went into my settings on FB and asked it to unlink with my contacts lists and delete all these people. Though FB sent me an email saying it had been done, nothing changed.

    To some people, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, I find it frightening that, without my permission, my information was accessed in this way.

    Anyway, I extend my sympathies. 🙁

  • Rachel Jun 20, 2011 @ 4:50

    Hej Holly – Thanks so much for all your generous support to us struggling writers!
    I just want to let you know I was really digusted at the news of your Face Book account being violated!
    I have thankfully avoided Facebook for many years – and I am glad I have. The internet needs to clean up its act in many quarters I’m afraid. Getting your own server will lock everyone out, and you can make next to nothing mega cheap phone calls as well. Get your site a powerful fire wall!
    Here’s looking at you kid!
    Very best to you from Rachel in Sweden.

  • Martin Jun 19, 2011 @ 11:26

    You have my sympathy Holly, there are few things worse than being confronted by bureaucratic idiocy when you are feeling under the weather. I closed down my Facebook account a few years ago when the first hints of irresponsibility became public, and have been using Linked-In as an alternative. So far I haven’t had any issues, but Linked-In obviously does not have the same popularity or reach as Facebook. With all of the hoaxes being perpetrated via Twitter lately, one has to wonder how long it will take for a robust alternative to emerge that will replace all of the above tools by something that has the best feature of all of them.
    The one suggestion I can make is if you continue to use Facebook, make sure you have secure connections enabled for ALL communications. This can be very annoying to use if you aren’t on your own computer, but will protect you from most vectors of attack. If your connection appears as “https://” rather than “http:/” you most likely have this feature turned on, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
    Good luck and I hope you feel better.


  • Tracy Riva Jun 18, 2011 @ 16:12


    You make me seriously debate whether it is worth keeping my own accounts (personal and professional) on FB. After the way they handled this issue for you my trust of them, which wasn’t already overwhelming, is now seriously eroded. I hope they catch whoever hacked you but most importantly that you find a way to reaccess all your precious contacts, especially those family members you need to keep in touch with. Get to feeling well soon.

  • Kit Russell Jun 18, 2011 @ 4:29


    I’ve got no useful advice that anyone else hasn’t already suggested. I just hope you feel better soon, and that the FBI catches those jerks before they can hurt anybody else.


  • Graham Long Jun 18, 2011 @ 1:56

    Dear Holly,
    So sorry to hear of your misfortune and the consequences that followed but isn’t life like that on occasions – the victim is punished, not the aggressor.
    Please get well soon; we miss your emails when you are away sick.

  • Marianne Jun 17, 2011 @ 17:45

    Holly, thank you for the warning. Those who hack need to be prosecuted and punished. As a fan of yours, I am sending you some of my light to help you through this dark episode. Hopefully, you will bounce back quickly and find a way to focus the negative experience into a positive and profitable plot or writer’s lesson. Your future will be brighter than you feel today!

  • Nicole Jun 17, 2011 @ 15:45

    I am so sorry that this has happened. It’s such a violation. In addition it burdens you with extra work and worry, that, I’m certain, if you are like the rest of us, you didn’t need.

  • Phen Jun 17, 2011 @ 15:18

    I was on the Writerspace list, too. Fortunately I learned my lesson last year when my Facebook account got hacked about three seconds after I joined. Never, ever, EVER re-use passwords on sites that have sensitive information. Every time you join a site that wants your financial info, completely make up a new password on the spot. And never use any Facebook games or aps. They all want access to your private info and if they get hacked, you get hacked. Most of them give your info to marketing people anyway. And for the exact same reason, don’t link your Facebook account to other sites, no matter how convenient they tell you it will be. You’re just handing all your shopping and browsing habits straight to corporate and government data-miners, and again, if they get hacked, you get hacked. Most people “know” this in a vague, lazy kind of way, but it tends to take a jolt to make people realize how vulnerable they are.
    If you want some real nightmare stories, check the support Forums at Ebay. There are counterfeit sellers that have hacked thousands of user accounts and use them to make ghost sales on their competitors products so they’re always “sold out.” Ebay absolutely does not care. None of these companies care. It isn’t cost-effective to care.

  • kate Jun 17, 2011 @ 14:18

    Thankyou for the warning, I got a virus through facebook but luckily for me it was easily blocked and the posts were deleted, also it was only about facebook chat, but it was quite frightening when all these things popped up as me! I hope you get well soon!!

  • peter butterworth Jun 17, 2011 @ 12:55

    aloha holly, hope hyou’re feeling better. i recently get hacked as well and know the problems and hassles this creates…and it feels like a violoation so hang in there. peter

  • Carole Lesley Hyatt Jun 17, 2011 @ 11:39

    Thank you so much for the warning Holly…….hope you get well soon.

  • Amy R Jun 17, 2011 @ 9:02

    Try not to use the same passwords for multiple accounts. Also know that most apps on Facebook do have a non-facebook portal you can use to access them. But anytime you see one of those “login” prompts for FB, stop what you are doing and enter facebook through the facebook.com page ONLY. If FB wants your login, it will prompt you for it there – but most code used in FB is not secure and malicious programs can throw a login request into them, making it seem as if you must give your information to it.

  • Kathy Holzapfel Jun 17, 2011 @ 7:36

    FYI – Writerspace.com has sent out an email warning that approximately 12K of the names/passwords on the Lulzsec list were ones used by Writerspace members.

    • Holly Lisle Jun 17, 2011 @ 13:00

      Yup. I received their notice that I was one of the folks who’d id was posted. And I now suspect this was the vehicle the hackers used to wreck my Facebook account. Both accounts were old, using a password system I no longer use—but just those two links were enough.

  • Maja Jun 17, 2011 @ 4:22

    Sorry to hear about this, Holly. Hope your contacts and finances work out fine.
    Gals and guys, FB is $h!t. Never have contacts exclusively on FB, never post anything potentially damaging, never do anything with money, and never keep anything of value there.

  • c1oudrs Jun 17, 2011 @ 2:46

    Hi Holly 🙂
    I’m so sorry you were hacked. Someone busted a window in my car a few years ago and destroyed my dash to get to a stereo. It made a bad time in my life and that incident made it even worse as I couldn’t afford to even get the window fixed. I finally got the window fixed but nothing else, and I never liked the car again though I drove it for a few more years.

    I wasn’t linked to your facebook (I’m not into the social network thing). I haven’t written to you before. But I’m finishing up your free plot course. (I also bought your plot-character-etc multipack) . I get your newsletter and I’ve read many of your fantasy books. I guess I’m like many of your fans.

    But I guess I just wanted to say that I have hope again for my writing thanks to you. And I felt like, if I could communicate my enjoyment and excitement in writing again and trying to consolidate all your wonderful writing tips from your books and newsletters, it might be like saying,”It IS a dark world, but here Holly–have some of your light back. And thank you.”

    • Holly Lisle Jun 18, 2011 @ 10:33

      You’ve very welcome. And welcome to the site, and thank you for posting.

      I’d like to add that for me, this is mostly a very bright world. Most of the people I know and interact with are like you—interesting, fun, creative, intelligent, doing what they love.

      If you look through the comments here, you’ll see just a few of them—the ones who post comments. Even more don’t, but still send an e-mail from time to time.

      Because I focus on doing what I can to add something good to the lives of people who matter to me—my family, my readers, and my students and other writers, most of my days are good days. I like my work, I like the people I do it for. Even the day

      I got hacked was not horrible—a big pain in the ass, yes, and exhausting…but look at the people I got to talk to while I was working my way through that mess.

      And Margaret hung out with me online while I changed the passwords on all my accounts, and talked with me about writing.

      If you find people you like and with whom you like to spend time, no one has the power to ruin your day. Mess it up, sure. Ruin it, no.

  • Thea Jun 17, 2011 @ 2:29

    Gack. That is, for lack of a better, G-rated word, nasty. My friends think my multitude of complex passwords are unnecessary, but *I* think it’s much better to be proactive about things like hacking. Hopefully this will be resolved without getting worse.

  • Michelle Jun 17, 2011 @ 1:36

    So sorry this happened to you Holly! I hope you feel better soon and this all becomes a bad memory very, very soon.

    Take care!

  • Dharma Jun 16, 2011 @ 23:34

    Aww…too infuriating, and exactly what you DON’T need on top of vertigo and migraines (I know.)

    I appreciated your warning email, and passed it on to my BFF who spends lots of time on Facebook. Hope the rest of your week is smooth and painfree sailing.

    And the cat you knit is spectacular 🙂

  • EliseInAZ Jun 16, 2011 @ 22:48

    And this is exactly why I’ve never signed up for a Facebook account, despite the urging of my writer friends. Not only are they subject to this kind of hacking, FB regularly adds new ways to exploit your privacy. I can’t tell you the number of times there have been emails on the loops I subscribe to warning people about new “features” and the way to turn them off.

    Sorry it happened to you. And I’m also sorry you’re still not feeling well.

  • Harriet Cooper Jun 16, 2011 @ 22:45

    sorry to hear about being hacked on top of ill health. people who know you will understand. pretty scary how easily our lives can be taken over by others.

  • Jean Lamb Jun 16, 2011 @ 22:42

    My condolences–how very horrible!

  • Joe Stephens Jun 16, 2011 @ 22:40

    Holly: So sorry you were hit with the Facebook problem. I hope everything works out for you. On the positive side of it, perhaps this will lead to another novel or series of novels. You never know where it could lead. Make some lemonade with it.

  • Boseh Jun 16, 2011 @ 22:38

    I sympathize with you for your ordeal with facebook. I hope you recover soon too. You are doing a good job and certainly does not deserve such treatment; no one does. I personally do not use facebook and with what just happened to you, i feel more justified not to. I now have one more reason to feel no regrets about not joining and just stay put where i am. I wish you all the best Hollie. Do not allow facebook to get you down! Wave your flag high and keep going!

  • Nan Roberts Jun 16, 2011 @ 22:02

    Forgive me if you’ve already read this on facebook, or if you already tried this and they ignored you, but I thought it might help. I hope you feel better soon. thanks for letting us know about this mess.

    • RebeccaG Jun 18, 2011 @ 20:42

      No, these were professionals. And following their guidelines was what got her account blocked FROM her. Facebook is large and impersonal with a very big blanket approach, even with someone who knows better than to use “password” as a password, or click on potentially viral links.

  • Khaki/Kathy Crouch Jun 16, 2011 @ 21:37

    I am lucky I’ve never had a problem with Facebook. I have played games and stuff and but lately I’m hardly ever there. I was dumb enough to ignore the anit-virus software warning about a link I was researching once and locked my computer down. It cost me over $100 to get the darned thing out of there. I have a firewall and anti-virus and now I’m more cautious about clicking on research links. ESPECIALLY if the anit-virus says bad link. My nephew and his wife had a horrible thing happen to them. Her email was hacked and then the FBI was at their door confiscating their computers. They claimed they had child pron on them. Turns out they were wrong as we all knew they woudl be. My nephew and his wife got their computers back but when he had their router checked it had a trojan in it. That was how someone was stealing their ISP address. A lot of people don’t secure their Internet networks and that can lead to someone hacking you as well. I have nephews that know a lot about this stuff and I have been checking on it as well.
    I sincerly hope you feel better soon and that these hackers fidn the jail cell to their liking. Too bad they aren’t putting their knowledge to better use like finding a cure for illnesses.

  • Matt Edwards Jun 16, 2011 @ 21:36

    I’m sorry to hear of your misfortune. I have for years used a common password+unique identifier (ex. PWcredit or PWemail) and I have a spreadsheet file where I can look up the passwords when I forget them.

    I hope no misfortune befalls you because of this incident other than the inconvenience of changing passwords and dealing with inept customer service.

    Also, I don’t have any linked accounts aside from the eBay, Paypal combo and my Xbox account with Windows Live.

    Best wishes.

  • Kelly S. Bishop Jun 16, 2011 @ 21:34

    My FB acct was hacked this morning too by the same SOBs. In my case, I got really lucky, FB blocked the hacker before I even knew about it because the hacker logged in somewhere in England and I’m down south here in the USA. I don’t know why they were able to figure it out in my case and not Holly’s.

    I changed the password on every online acct I have that I can think of. I hope I didn’t miss anything. And I hope those jerks get arrested for this!

    • Holly Lisle Jun 17, 2011 @ 13:02

      Did you also receive the notice from Writerspace that your account details were published online when THEIR site was hacked?

      I think this is how we both got hit.

      • Kelly S. Bishop Jun 20, 2011 @ 21:25

        Yep. It was Writerspace. The biggest security problem is with sites like Writerspace, that you sign up for a login id for some stupid reason and then forget all about it. I get an email from them regularly but I had forgotten there was a login/pw involved. Then just today I got a nice email from Cheezburger.com (The folks behind the LOL Cats), saying that they noticed my email address was on the hacker’s list & while my Cheezburger acct hadn’t been hacked maybe I should change that pw too. Nice of them to remind me I HAD one with them. God knows how many other sites I’ve forgotten all about…

  • Clorine Jackson Jun 16, 2011 @ 21:32

    Facebook is getting a very bad reputation, I still don’t know how to use it so maybe I’m lucky. I watched the movie “The Social Network” about the guy who created it, and it started off in a very bad way I thought, making comments about the looks of females. I think email is still the best way of contacting people.
    Hope it all works out for you Holly, and that you feel better soon.

    • Peter Johannigman Jun 24, 2011 @ 14:06

      “I’m not a journalist or documentarian. My fidelity is to the story I’m telling, and not to the who, what, where, why of the story… This isn’t a documentary about Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg… I would look at [the film] as a painting, and not a photograph.”

      -Aaron Sorkin, writer of “The Social Network”

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