The possibility, that even a small appliance could be hacked, was a frightening one for Mr. Boyd T. Howdee, from Ringhaven, Arkansas. Mr. Howdee claimed to have been victimized by North Korean hackers; his programmable coffeemaker sabotaged, this past Monday morning. Mr. Howdee, interviewed at the local “Save-A-Penny, Convenience, Gas, and Food Mart,” had this to say.
“I knew something was wrong right away. I checked the coffeemaker before me and the Mrs. went to bed last night. The power didn’t go out or anything. We don’t owe anything to anybody. It’s a brand-new machine–just got it from Wal-Mart last month. If those North Koreans could do it to a major movie studio–they could do it here.”
“Come to think of it–my grandson’s new gaming system didn’t work after Christmas, either. There’s nothing worse than a kid crying about a broken toy on Christmas. And if that didn’t beat all–that was on account of some hackers somewhere. My computerized thermostat isn’t working right–it’s either too hot or too cold. I think somebody in Homeland Security, or somewhere else in government, needs to look into this. Something’s wrong, when a man can’t even have a cup of coffee, in his own house, first thing of a morning.”
Mr. S. M. Whigsley, spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Health and Safety, had this to say, “I really don’t have an answer at this time. We’re prepared for any and all contingencies. Computer hacking is a serious twenty-first century problem. I have no idea why the North Koreans would be interested in Mr. Howdee’s coffeemaker–or his family, for that matter. So far, there’s been nothing to support his claim. However, I’m sending two state troopers to investigate.”
To judge whether or not Mr. Howdee’s story is true would be presumptious on my part. I report the news, as I find it. Yes, it’s sometimes serious, sometimes not. Have you ever been in a checkout line when the computers went down? It seems to take forever–everything grinds to a halt. Keep reading. Keep thinking–because, “It Could Happen.”
–Matt C. Beasterson,”It Could Happen”–