Video: Mat Honan Details His Post-Hack Paranoia
If you’re a regular reader of Wired, or just a curious tech enthusiast, you’ve certainly already heard about the hacking attack suffered by Mat Honan, Gadget Lab’s senior writer. Honan himself documented how hackers assumed control of his digital life in an exhaustive report on Monday, but now we have him on video, describing what happened in greater nuance and detail.
In the video above, Honan assumes partial responsibility for losing irreplaceable family photos in the attack. “Because I wasn’t backing up makes me feel a lot of this stuff I could have prevented, stuff that was my fault,” he says. “I’m a technology journalist — I’ve been a technology journalist since the ’90s — I know better than to not be backing up.”
Honan also describes his direct online interactions with the hacker. The very person who assumed control of his Amazon account and AppleID also proved to the best source of information on what actually occurred in the hacking attack. “Of course I was mad,” Honan says, “but I also wanted to try to be really rational about it. I wanted to understand exactly how this had happened and what the extent of the damage was, and I felt like a better way to apprach that than saying, ‘Oh, you son of a bitch you, just ruined my life’ was to try and engage and do it in a dispassionate manner. And that turned out to be pretty effective.”
The video provides unpublished details of Honan’s hacking attack, but also reveals a bit of the psychological damage that occurs after a digital violation. Says Honan: “I’ve been wary of the e-mails I’ve been replying to. I’m paranoid.”