IRS Hacked?

Just a few hours before today’s 2018 tax filing deadline, the IRS.gov e-filing system went offline.

Interestingly, the message below is what shows up when you go to the IRS website to try to file and make payments.

img_1233-3.jpgNotice that it’s identified as a “planned outage” that runs through December 31, 9999. Obviously that’s a typo. If you read the body of the message, it says the planned outage will run through September 22, 2016. Which is much better. That means that the outage is scheduled to end approximately 19 month’s before it started. Problem solved, right?

The IRS did not have an immediate explanation for the failure. However, IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter testified during a House Oversight Hearing today that a number of systems are down at the moment and that they are working to resolve the issue.

I blame Russian hackers. I just wish they would have given me some advanced notice. I filed my taxes on Friday and my electronic payments have already been processed.

Thanks a lot, Vladimir.

Has My Blog Been Hacked By The Russians?

74B0C064-9C8A-4BD2-BF6F-AB00E5BC3D31Up until a few days ago, the WordPress Akismet filter seemed to be working flawlessly. Bogus comments by phony commenters rarely made it by that filter and into my comments sections. But these insipid spammers have apparently come up with a new strategy.

Starting around three days ago, someone who goes by the name Alex began commenting on my posts. His first comment was, “Nice weblog here! Additionally your web site loads up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol.”

Obviously this was spam that sneaked by my Akismet spam filter. I marked it as spam and didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.

But then I started getting more comments from “Alex” on different posts. Comments like

You actually make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be actually one thing that I think I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely huge for me. I am taking a look ahead in your subsequent publish, I will try to get the cling of it!

Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The entire look of your website is great, let alone the content material!

I am no longer certain where you’re getting your info, however good topic. I must spend some time studying more or working out more. Thanks for excellent info I was on the lookout for this info for my mission.

It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

At least a dozen similar comments from “Alex” showed up on various posts. And I designated each as spam.

I haven’t received any comments from “Alex” yet today, but “Ula Guzman” wrote

F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I’m very happy to look your article. Thank you so much and i’m taking a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

“Stacy Henderson” commented

Someone necessarily help to make critically articles I’d state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I surprised with the research you made to make this actual publish incredible. Fantastic activity!

And “Delores McCarty” wrote

Thanks for any other fantastic post. Where else may anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such info.

Definitely Russian hackers. This new strategy to get through the spam filter is apparently working and it’s really starting to piss me off.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “strategy.”

Fake Numbers

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Wolf Blitzer’s latest breaking news: “Fandango’s polls are seriously slipping.”

Rachel Maddow’s shocking new exclusive report: “This, That, and The Other is in disarray over falling numbers.”

Jake Trapper’s lead story: “Are Fandago’s days numbered?”

Chris Matthews asked, “How much longer can this bumbler last?”

After many hours of avoiding reporters, Fandango was finally corralled by Andrea Mitchell. “Fandango! Fandango!” She called out. “What do you have to say about your falling numbers.”

Fandango looked down at her. “Fake numbers, little Andrea, fake numbers. The mainstream media’s stats can’t be trusted. They’re the worst. They’re all fake. You know, when you’re a star blogger, you can grab a reporter by her microphone and get away with it,” he defiantly said.

“It’s not fake, sir,” Andrea responded. “These numbers come right from the WordPress stats page. How do you respond?”

“My stats are the greatest,” Fandango said. “I have the best stats, believe me. Everyone says so. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.”

“But the numbers aren’t fake,” Andrea retorted.

“Then someone has hacked my WordPress account.”

“Was it the Russians?”

“It could have been Russia. It could have been China. It could have been some 400 pound fatty sitting on his bed in New Jersey. No one can really know.”

“But Fandango….”

Fandango cut her off. “I have to go. I need to go collude with someone. Where the hell is Fandango, Jr.?”