[mailhist-discuss] Question #2 for my story

Dave Crocker dcrocker at bbiw.net
Sun Mar 22 06:38:02 PDT 2015

On 3/21/2015 1:35 PM, Linda Hess wrote:
> The family is a non-tech family (husband and wife). Husband is a
> physician, wife is a writer. They might be technologically
> forward-looking in that they actually own a home computer in 1994 and
> are online with AOL. Suzanne - not wedded to AOL per se, but it was a
> consumer service in fairly wide use. I could change it to an independent
> ISP. 

AOL is the safer choice.  I believe use of random ISPs by random
consumers was much rarer.

> The husband in the story finds out that his wife has fallen in love with
> someone else, and email is their day-to-day means of communication. 
> His friend has some shady connections and hires a hacker to break into
> his wife's email account.


I suppose the question is how the guy finds the hacker.  But that's a
non-technical issue...

> For the story, the wife cannot be aware that she's been hacked, and she
> has to think her messages aren't getting through to the intended
> recipient. And the recipient's responses can't get back to her. She has
> to believe that he's cut off communication.

Based on some anecdotes I've heard, a hacker being able to compromise a
system without the owner or user knowing apparently was common, going
back to the 70s. That is, part of the skillset of hacking seemed to be
covering one's tracks.

One of the anecdotes was late 80s, involving an Internet system...


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking

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