Press-Republican

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September 19, 2013

Hacker breaks into Black Brook email

BLACK BROOK — Town Supervisor Ricky Nolan wants the public to know his official email address got hacked and that he is not in dire need of financial assistance in the Philippines.

The mass email circulated from blackbrooksuper@yahoo.com purports to be from Nolan, saying he and his family got mugged, with all their cash, credit card and cellphone stolen.

”We are HOME and Fine,” the actual Nolan said in an email on Wednesday to everyone in his address book. “Please disregard their request. I have never traveled, nor do I even have a passport.”

If he did, he told the Press-Republican on Wednesday as he tried to make light of a worrying situation, “I would go to Ireland.”

Nolan notified State Police, who recommended he let Yahoo know about it.

He did change his password but wasn’t sure what else he might have to do to straighten out his email account.

It bothered him that such a message was sent to all his contacts connected to town business, among them State Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey.

A local woman who received the fake plea for help called the Town Office in tears over what she thought the Nolan family was going through so far away, the supervisor said.

The Town Hall phone rang off the hook through the day, in fact, he said.

It especially concerned Nolan that the hacked account is his official email, and though he conducts no financial business for the town through the address, the bank is keeping an eye on those accounts, he said.

He does sometimes check his personal account, however, and discovered from his bank that it had been red flagged for some reason.

“It makes you feel vulnerable,” he said of the hacking.

The situation also put him in the limelight at Wednesday’s Clinton County Board of Supervisors meeting in Plattsburgh.

“It was kind of like the joke of the day there,” he said.

Kidding aside, though, Nolan said he was frustrated by the invisible theft, for bottom line, there’s not much anyone can do about it.

“It’s been a long day,” he said mid afternoon, “and it’s not over yet.”

Email Suzanne Moore:smoore@pressrepublican.com

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