Something is missing...

If you happen to notice any missing images in my blog here, or in any of my FA thread posts or forum stories, the reason why is pretty simple - someone apparently saw fit last weekend to abuse access to a Sims2 web site in order to steal the passwords of myself and several other TSR FAs and SAs (not going to point fingers since we don't have proof enough yet to narrow it down to any one specific site, though I can say it was not TSR), then try those passwords against other places on the internet where any of us had an identifiable web presence.

In my case I was lucky - I'd already been phasing that particular password out of use since I knew I'd used it on at least two Sims2 sites in the past that can now be characterized as being havens for so-called pirates. Whoever it was that did this only hit the jackpot on one location, my Photobucket account, which they promptly redirected to a (probably fictitious) email address, deleted many of my pictures, and replaced most of the remainder. One of the "replacements" they made - replacing a photograph of me with the same photograph overlaid with the word "ATWAT", which, yes, I am aware is the pirate's chosen name for an ex-TSR staff member that they apparently have an obsessive, fanatical hatred of - made it pretty clear that whomever did this is part of the pirate faction of the Sims2 community.

The first I learned of this was on Tuesday morning, when I got a phone call from my brother letting me know that my online portfolio, which I'd just spent weeks putting together, having only just completed it on Friday of last week, was screwed up. Thankfully I hadn't started shopping it around on job applications yet - linking to a site full of Photobucket's "Image moved or deleted" and "Violation of our terms of service" images would NOT have made a good first impression on potential employers. It might have been even worse then that  - one person reported that she had her family photo album replaced with indecent images.

As I say, I was lucky - I'm aware of someone who had been using the password which was stolen on their primary email account as well. I'm sure you can image the "fun" whoever did this had with password reset utilities over the weekend as a result. In all, the person or person(s) responsible for this is so far known to have vandalized Photobucket, Flickr, MySpace, Youtube, and other online presences of at least 5 people. No, I won't name names - it's up to those FAs or SAs to decide for themselves if they wish to make any statements on this latest vindictive behaviour against those of us who call TSR home.

Photobucket support gave me back control of my account, and I've since re-uploaded almost all my images. There are some missing, which I'll re-upload as I locate them. Thankfully I'm a packrat, so except for a few isolated images I'm pretty sure I still have local copies of just about everything I've ever posted to Photobucket.

In the meantime, to whomever did this, and to anyone in the pirate community that delights in, supports, and condones this kind of behaviour, I can only hope that the bad karma this sort of petty vandalism earns turns around and bites you in the ass.


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