Hacks, Clones and Snow

Maybe Vladimir Putin doesn’t like Arts and Crafts either.

Our week started with the realization that internet hackers had targeted the National Arts and Crafts Conference. They didn’t actually get into our site and caused no damage, but did think they could dupe our Arts and Crafts exhibitors into paying more than one thousand dollars for a list of 3500 attendees and their “title, company, website, phone, fax, state and country.”

Two rather unsophisticated emails signed “Adam MacKay” and “Anne Macaulay�”were sent to several of our conference exhibitors, whose email addresses are listed with their permission on our website. It appears that the hackers simply went to our website, read our basic information, and began sending out emails offering to provide – in less than perfect English – contact information for 3500 attendees for the price of $1500 “US dollars.”

Our exhibitors immediately began contacting me, but none suspected this was a legitimate, authorized offer. With no positive response, it appears the hackers quickly turned to another target.

Coincidentally, two days later someone cloned an old Facebook page of mine and began sending out Friends Requests to a number of people, including my son Eric. I had set up the page years ago, but have never really used it. Instead, we have a Facebook page for the Arts and Crafts Conference, but this hacker seemed to have no interest in it. One of my alert friends immediately contacted Facebook and the cloned page was quickly removed.

And then on Friday it snowed.

Snow in the South is a temporary big deal, as we don’t see enough of it to justify a fleet of specialized snow plows. Instead, we rely on a few state trucks, neighbors with blades mounted on the front of their pickups, and the sun. That will also be the case this week, as we will go from six degrees on Sunday to sixty-two degrees on Friday.

Naturally, people do wonder how snow would affect the February 17-19 National Arts and Crafts Conference. Over the course of 29 years we have seen a few snow flakes during a couple of conferences, but none have seriously affected us. When it does snow in Asheville, most of it typically melts the next afternoon. Since we arrive over the course of five days from all points on the compass, it would take a blizzard of historic proportions to really impact us.

Even then, we would never cancel the conference, but would simply throw more logs on the twin fireplaces in the Great Hall — and have a party.

Until next Monday,

Hope to see you in the Great Hall!