The long, awkward silence is always the first sign that a previously over-confident hacker realizes he’s suddenly become the victim. It happens every time.

The malicious hacker had been firing his “ion cannon” at my network address trying to overwhelm my home computer and internet connection. I had sent him an email the day before letting him know that I knew who he was, what he did for a living (he was a budding wedding photographer), his name (Rick), and that he was newly married to a beautiful girl. That’s enough to frighten off most hackers, but sometimes, like Rick, they persist.

On his private, Tor-protected instant messaging channel, Rick was telling his buddies that he was getting ready to launch an even bigger distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against me. He had been using a child-like hacker tool, but now he was thinking of paying a professional hacking service to attack me.

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