Add to my list of phobias: getting my e-mail hacked. Only it’s not a phobia. It’s reality. On Wednesday, my e-mail address began sending out empty mail under a dozen or so subject headings like I’M FREE, I DID IT! and I HAVE BECAME MY OWN BOSS (sic). Thing is, since I recently stopped working full-time, many recipients—perhaps including my old boss and colleagues, plus prospective freelance clients—assumed they were genuine. So several cheerfully responded with congratulations. Which was heartwarming but spooky.
Why do hackers do this—compromise e-mail accounts? What possible benefit can it give them to ruin my life when they don’t even know me? What is the point?