Yes, I have good news and bad news. But, let’s take the bad news first. Here’s what I said in my article Lightning Strikes Twice: “Is it just a coincidence that shortly after my first article on fraud appeared that the Underground website was hacked?” (To view the article click here)
So the bad news is that the Underground website was assaulted many times after the first fraud article appeared. And, while it appears that most subscribers were not subject to the viruses, there is no question that some of you were. I am truly sorry for that and assure everyone that we have done everything the experts know to do to keep this from ever happening again. My sincere apologies go out to all who were impacted. The other piece of bad news is that it took longer than expected to get rid of the multiple problems.
And now for the good news: The viruses are gone and the hackers are gone. We would hope they are never to return and have taken all possible precautions to make sure they never enter our world again. But, the brave new world of cyberspace comes with its good features and bad features. As with wine fraud, there are always a number of people involved trying to make a dishonest buck or be involved in criminal activity. Isn’t it amazing that the Underground would come under such an attack! After all, I have said from the very beginning that “We Are Not Terrorists”. (To read that article click here) (The article was reprinted in the January 30, 2009 in the on line Underground and first appeared in the Volume 1, Number 4, February-March issue of The Underground Wineletter. To read the Retrospective Review of that issue or the entire issue click here)
However, that first mission “Why The ‘Underground’ Wineletter? Are We Terroists?” spelled it out with this sentence: “Can wine be considered subversive? Perhaps the basis of a new secret weapon? We think not, but no doubt our ‘tell it like it is’ approach may stir up some controversy, particularly where comment is unfavorable.” (And, once again to read the article in its entirety click here)
And, what I said in the concluding paragraph of the last fraud article continues to define the Underground: “Hopefully, the ongoing investigations will lead to the suppliers of fraudulent wines and to those who might be knowingly making a market in them. Until then it is up to everyone involved with wine to do whatever possible to help control the wine fraud disease. No matter what, the Underground will continue to be a diligent defender of authentic wines and speak out for the elimination of wine fraud. But, it won’t be easy. Is it just a coincidence that shortly after my first article on fraud appeared that the Underground website was hacked? We have been working on this problem and hope to get rid of the viruses within a matter of days. In the meantime, I want everyone to be alerted that there may be a price to pay for our diligence! Thank you for your support and understanding.”
One thing is for sure – the Underground will stay the course just like we have been doing for over 30 years! May hackers forever be damned to drink really awful wine. My thanks to all of you for your continued support!
In Vino Veritas,