Calm Under Attack – Josh Journal
On January 21 of this year, my Instagram account came under a hacker’s attack.
Someone was trying to sign in to my account. I believe the person was able to get either my current or previous password.
Either way, I was getting a barrage of text messages with the confirmation code for me to sign in with.
Altogether, I probably got ten different messages. This means the person or people made about ten attempts to hack my Instagram account.
Of all my social media accounts, my personal Instagram page has the largest following. It would have hurt to lose this particular account to “internet bandits”.
In the midst of this attack, I was calmer than a cucumber.
Do you want to know why?
I was calm because I was not even aware that I was under attack.
Let me break it down like this;
Exactly two days before, I had gotten a prompt to enable two-factor authentication for my Instagram account.
The weirdest part is that every other of my social media account already had two-factor authentication turned on. Till today, I still don’t know why I had refused to turn it on for Instagram.
Either way, I turned it on and kept living La Vida Loca.
Of my two phone numbers, I tend to use one for all online activities. I also almost do not use that number to make calls at all. Meaning I had no reason to keep the phone with me.
Again, for reasons I still do not understand, I didn’t use my usual “online” phone number to enable two-factor authentication. I used my “contact” number instead.
Those in-the-know, know that I hardly read my text messages. I could actually go through two weeks without opening my text messages. I hardly send any, and I am not expecting any. So why should I keep checking?
My emails meanwhile, I try to check at the start and end of each day.
You can imagine my shock when I checked my mail on the evening of January 21 and was asked if I was the one trying to sign in from Moscow, Russia.
Really? Moscow? Russia?
I thought all these apps were tracking my movement. I have my location turned on. In which universe did my location ping off in Moscow, Russia?
The mail told me to check my two-factor enabled phone number to get my sign-in code. I checked and true enough, I had received about ten text messages with different codes.
Meaning the attacker was really persistent.
What if I had refused to enable two-factor authentication two days before?
All I needed to do was click on “remind me next time.’
That was a close shave.
Looking back at the incident now, I realize that if I had my notification turned on, and had seen each text come in, I would have been worried.
I would have been scared that they might be able to clone my phone number. Or hack my phone. Or something silly. And that would have left me unnecessarily agitated.
Can you imagine the number of battles being fought on your behalf that you are not aware of? How many times you came under attack but God raised a standard of defense on your behalf?
Do you know how many people mentioned your name in hatred, but a true friend, or even a stranger responded on your behalf? Or how many times someone brought up your name for something positive without you being aware?
We only get to see a fraction of our life battles, yet we are scared. What will happen if we know how many attacks God is delivering us from on a daily?
Life is an endless battle. But we can remain calm in the knowledge that as long as we dwell in the secret place of the Most High, we are safe in the shadow of the Almighty.