Last week there was a panic after I was hacked and, in the process, six of my hard drives (totaling around twenty-five terabytes of data) were simultaneously rendered inoperable. While the data loss itself would have been an inconvenience, the real fear was the damage was physical and possibly deliberate. With some help, I have been able to get back into the hard drives and into my main computer. At this point a little over 500 gigabytes of data is confirmed as corrupt and unrecoverable. However, it is replaceable data and as long as the hardware I rely on doesn’t fail and isn’t interfered with, this is not the end as I had originally feared it might be.
As far as what happened, there seems to be very little chance that it was an accident or a glitch. I’ve confirmed that the one piece of software that might have been responsible wasn’t. The hard drives were also of several makes and models, bought over a year or two, and plugged into surge protectors and an Uninterrupted Power Supply, making a coincidence an unlikely culprit. Since then, new encryption keys have been generated and a number of other measures are being put into place or improved to reduce the likeliness of this happening again. A plan is also being created to preserve the majority of my workflow should my data be threatened again.
The timing of the hack is highly suggestive, but also purely coincidental, as it occurred less than twelve hours after Rule 41 went into effect. Between my various activities and some of the people I am in contact with, it’s entirely possible that I was included in one of their far-reaching investigations. When access to the hard drives was restored, some details seemed to corroborate the possibility of governmental hacking. Files had been partially recovered on one of the hard drives, files that represented partially encrypted (two layers of encryption instead of three) version of much of the insurance package that I released in an encrypted form. (Rest assured that this is merely one deterrent among several, and that it is deliberately the most public.)
For now, as long as it remains physically possible to continue and as long as the Great Work remains unfinished, then the work continues.