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I'm a Hacker, Give Me Money

bottle.jpgSo hackers have stolen the state of Virginia's pharmaceutical records and want $10 million to give them back. The hackers have threatened to sell the data if they don't get the ransom.

Hollywood makes hackers out to be some sort of evil geniuses but these guys sound pretty dim. Stealing prescription records? Who would even want that information? What would someone do with it? Most of us already get plenty of spam for "Ci@li$" without our personal medical info bouncing around the Internet.

Still, someone must think there's a market for this stuff and $10 million is nothing to sneeze at. That is why I have been secretly hacking into various government and corporate databases over the last few months. I am prepared to offer this information to the highest bidder(s). Some of the data is stored in encrypted form on flash drives. Some of it is written on crumpled index cards. E-mail hacker@washpost.com if you are interested in making a deal.

State of Virginia personalized license plate dataset. Virginia has more personalized license plates than any state in the nation. By dangling by wire from the ceiling of the DMV, a la Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible," I was able to copy this information to a dual-layer DVD. If you have always wondered who owns FXY LDY, CAT LVR or PRTY DUDE, here's your chance. Yours for bids starting at $1 million.

Partial list of subscribers to O, The Oprah Magazine. I have names, addresses and favorite aromatherapy candle scent information for most subscribers east of the Rocky Mountains. This was not easy to obtain and thus my starting price is a cool $10 million.

Peanut allergy information for Montgomery County public schools. This is in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. A steal at $600,000. Also available: tree-nut allergy data and a 2006 car pool schedule for the Wheaton High School swim team.

DSW Discount Shoe Warehouse Rewards frequent-buyer card member roster. I worked on this one for ages, befriending a salesgirl at the Bailey's Crossroads location, earning her confidence, then slipping in after hours and copying 1.8 million names, addresses and shoe sizes to a thumb drive that I hid in a box of peds low-cut liner socks. A must for the foot-fetish completist. Offers starting at $125,000. I'll throw in the Burger King Birthday Club list for free.

Washington Post subscriber list. This is the one that could lose me my job, so I must start the bidding at $20 million. No? How about $10 million? One million dollars? I won't take less than $3,800. My final offer is $17.95. Operators are standing by.

Talk to Me
Chat. Today. At noon. Go here.

By John Kelly  |  May 8, 2009; 9:25 AM ET
 
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Comments

Virginia only allows a max of 7 characters plus an optional space -- PRTY DUDE may be a plate in some state, but not VA, no matter how pretty he is.

Posted by: cocyach | May 8, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Who would even want that information? What would someone do with it?

Let's see, it has name, home address, phone numbers, and billing info. Seems pretty valuable to me. For ID thieves at least.

Why wasn't this data backed up? Daily?

Posted by: wiredog | May 8, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@wiredog don't forget social security numbers are attached to some of those names, addresses, etc. If this is real it's an entire state directory of identity theft victims waiting to happen.

Though I'm wondering how they can have records 8.3 million Virginia residents when the population of the state is only 7.7 million.

Posted by: smeadow | May 8, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, the Commonwealth of Virginia implemented the drug database to catch drug abusers: the database only included "controlled substances" like narcotics, not every presription drug.

Because as we know, taking drugs will ruin your life. So if you take drugs (without first getting a note from your doctor), the government will ... ruin your life by sending you to jail.

And now, Virginia's incompetent implementation of this drug-tracking database threatens to ruin even non-drug-abusing citizens' lives by exposing them to identity theft.

Yes, folks: we pay good tax money for this kind of puritanical Keystone Kops buffoonery.

Posted by: DupontJay | May 9, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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