Thursday, May 18, 2017

Linkin Park Returns to Chile, A Cybersecurity Threat, and Offending a Police Officer

After 7 years, Linkin Park returned to Chile.

I bought 2 tickets when they went on presale back in December, and I was excited about it to put it mildly.  Unfortunately I ended up having an extra ticket at the last minute, and despite my efforts of trying to find someone else to go with my no one was able to go with such short notice.  I was disappointed to not have someone to share the experience with, but I decided to make the best of it and make it a date with myself.

I put on my Linkin Park hoodie that I've had since college, spiked my hair, and headed out.  I had never been to a concert at the Movistar Arena before, so I wasn't sure what to expect with the line and wait to pick up will call tickets.  There were a ton of people, but as I went through the lines for security everything moved quickly.

Then I realized that I needed to show my ticket to get through.  I made my way back and to the area off to the side, and I was able to walk right up to will call.  I passed my ID card through the bars, and then I signed my name, date, and signature to confirm the reception of the tickets.  I opened the sealed envelope and admired the tickets.

I made my way through security with plenty of time to spare.  After walking around to look at the shirts and hats on sale and the food offerings, I settled on a snack of French fries with a soda.  I then made my way to my seat.


It was about 8:20, and Rage Against the Machine was playing.  My seat was left of the stage near the front, and I had a really nice view.  (I sprung from the most expensive tickets that weren't a VIP experience).  I anxiously ran to the restroom at 8:58 and rushed back.

Rage Against The Machine had left the stage, and everyone was waiting in anticipation.  The lights darkened, and at 9:05 the show started.












In case you haven't ever seen them in concert, Linkin Park puts on an AMAZING show.  They play their songs, perform alternate versions of their hits, and get the audience involved.  They played for almost 2 hours, and the feeling of euphoria was indescribable.

As they were on stage saying their goodbyes and waving to the audience, I decided to head out to beat the crowd.  After waiting for buses, then 2 cancelled Ubers, and then waiting for another bus I made it home in at about 12:30.  I had the music running through my head all night, but I eventually fell asleep.

The positive vibes will continue, as their new album One More Light is coming out tomorrow.  In addition, I was able to grab 2  pre-sale tickets to their concert when I'm back in the States in a few months.

The following Sunday I got a rude awakening.  When I tried to check my email, I didn't have an internet connection.  After tying in my password, I was told it was incorrect.  I then noticed that there was a new wireless connection.  It had the same exact name as my wireless connection, but it was open (and therefore unsecured).  

It freaked me out, and I gave the conserje (front door guy) a call.  He told me it was a security issue and that I should call the police right away.  I did so, and in the meantime I posted to Facebook from my phone asking for advice.  I got a stream of helpful and supportive comments, and about half an hour later a police officer arrived.  He was probably in his 50s with greying hair.  As I explained the situation to him and showed him my computer, my doorbell rang again. It was his partner, a female officer probably in her early 30s.  

The male officer seemed reluctant to file a report since there was no evidence that anything had been stolen or damaged at that point, but the female officer told me it would be a good idea to have it as a precaution in case anything happened in the future.

In the end I decided to file a report to be on the safe side.  As she took the report, the male officer spoke into his walkie talkie, and then we got to making small talk.  He brought up foreigners living in Chile and mentioned how when he went to eat in a Korean restaurant and assumed that the people that worked there were from China and called them chinos there were a bit offended and corrected him. 

 As is the case in Chile in general, he didn't seem to notice cultural and ethnic distinctions that people from other countries recognize and consider important.  This is something that irritates me, and I've been working on speaking up when people say things that are ignorant or disrespectful in a tactful way.  In a calm voice, I brought up that if he were in the United States and told people he was from Chile, he might be mistaken for being Mexican, Argentinean, or Peruvian.  The male officer was unphased, but the female officer's eyes turned wide and she was visibly taken aback.  She said that she wouldn't mind being mistaken for Mexican or Argentinean, but (in her words) Peruvians are so lazy that she would be insulted.

The rest of the event went smoothly, and they gave me the necessary information if I needed the police report.

The next step was to call my internet service provider, VTR.  After about 40 minutes, I got a new wireless connection created with a new password.  It worked for a few hours, and then I was once again locked out of it and my password was incorrect.

After another call to VTR, they told me that they needed to send out a technician.  I scheduled a visit for the following day (Monday) between 1 and 4.  In the meantime I consulted the advice I had gotten on Facebook and called a friend that works with computers, and he patiently explained the situation to me.  Basically somebody had figured out my modem's username and password, so no matter how many times I reset a wireless connection they would be able to change it on me.

I used the wireless hotspot from my phone to connect to the internet, and after about 10 minutes I was locked out of that connection and a duplicate open connection appeared.  The situation left me anxious and frustrated, so I gave up on technology for the day.

In the end, everything worked out.  I got a confirmation call from VTR at 11:45 for the service visit, and the technician arrived at 1:45.  He explained everything and helped me set up a much more secure modem username and password as well as a new wireless connection, and he was done by 2:15.  VTR even called me later in the day to be sure that the situation was resolved.

I'm pretty careful about my safety and security, but this situation was a reminder to be more cautious with my cyber security too.  Luckily I didn't lose anything, but it's important to remember that I'm probably a bit more vulnerable than I had thought.  The anxiety that gripped me on Sunday has subsided, and the heightened awareness is a positive feeling.

Part of being alive is feeling range of emotions and seeing the positive sides of things, and I'm in a place that I'm able to do that.  For that I'm grateful.

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