Bob Grant Online
Bob Grant

The Hackers’ Racket

August 17, 2009

Did anybody miss me?

I know that must sound like a silly question in view of the fact that this is BobGrantOnline and I am Bob Grant. What you might not have known is that I have been infected with the dread virus . . . no not me, my computer!

There is nothing worse than a hacker getting into your computer and telling you over and over he can save you from the dread intrusion! It reminds me of the old Mafia-style protection racket which goes something like this: It’s the early l900s in a large eastern American city. It could be New York, it could be Chicago, but the script is always the same . . . a struggling young family man has only recently arrived from Europe.

The business owner is able to use a little money he borrowed from his father-in-law to open a small dry cleaning shop. He works everyday from sunup to long after sundown. He is meticulous in cleaning and pressing clothes that his fellow countrymen bring to his shop. He saves every penny he can, since there is a new baby on the way, and already there are his wife and two small children.

He is working very, very hard, but he is happy. After all, this is America! The sky is the limit. If you work hard and treat your customers well, you will be rewarded. But wait! One morning while he is standing on the sidewalk washing his windows, two ominous looking men with their fedora hats pulled down almost over their eyes approach our hardworking young friend.

The taller guy says, “Hey, that’s a nice job of washing that nice looking window.” The other guy says, “Yeah, it looks good . . . nice and clean. What a gorgeous window and the sign looks good. Expert dry cleaning! Prompt service! I like that”

Our young friend starts to get an uneasy feeling. He seems to sense something about these strangers that makes him fearful. When the shorter guy asks, “How’s business? Are you making enough money?”

That’s the time when the decent, hardworking immigrant really notices his pulse quicken! And then the question he almost knew was coming. “You know, it would be a shame if that beautiful, shiny window was busted. There are some punks in this neighborhood who like to bust windows like yours!”

Our friend says, “Naw, I don’t think anybody around here would do that.” Before he knows it, both of these rough looking creeps get real close to him, and one of them grabs a hold of his shirt collar. He looks him right in the eye and says, “Naw, nobody is going to hurt your window, or you, or anybody in your family. You are going to be protected. All you have to do is pay us 50 bucks every week and you don’t have to worry about a thing. We will see to it that your window and your family are protected.”

Our young friend says, ”Fifty a week? I hardly take in that in a month.” Suddenly these two thugs get very angry and warn the cleaning shop proprietor he had better pay up or else.

Now the question is, does he cough up the money and see his family starve because he is paying out all this money for protection, or does he watch his dream go up in smoke when they not only break the window, but burn the place down?

That, my friends, is known as the protection racket. Only in the year of our computer — 2009, it is not two thugs standing on the sidewalk that are forcing us to pay protection, it is a bunch of hackers who create a virus in your machine and then force you to submit your credit card number to pay for the installation of the protecting software.

This is going on all over the world and the government doesn’t even have a clue or any intention of stopping it. There are many of us who almost wish the Internet had never been created, but who are we to stop progress?

So, if you will excuse me, I am going to spend the rest of the day thinking of some kind of protection racket I can get into. Maybe, I will offer to not tell the truth about the politicians I know. That is, providing they pay me every week.

You get my point, pal? . . . Hmmm?

Bob Grant

Straight Ahead!


That slams the lid onthings for today

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