Hackers Hit Huggers

Jay McAdams
3 min readJun 4, 2021

PORTLAND, OR June 3, 2021, 7:09am PST Cyber attacks have found their way to one of Portland’s most beloved industries; its popular downtown hugging and cuddling shops. Just days after one of the largest meat suppliers in the U.S. was shut down by ransomware attacks from Russian hackers, Cuddle with Cari and Hannah’s Hug House were both hit with cyber attacks Monday. Both Portland businesses were reportedly crippled within hours. Cari Bellew, owner and chief cuddler of Portland’s Cuddle with Cari shop said she was unable to continue offering desperately needed cuddling sessions to stressed out hipsters because the malware literally shut down her iphone.

“I want to cuddle my customers today so so bad, but how can I when my phone is shut down?” screamed Bellew as she stood in front of her storefront frantically waving her iphone12 Pro Max with rhinestone case. “I can’t book appointments or share my thoughts with my friends. I can’t call out moderate liberals who think we need police. I can’t do anything!”

Hannah Stromberg, owner, founder, curator, Chief Financial Officer and President and CEO of Hannah’s Hug House confirmed that she paid an undisclosed amount of ransom to the hackers, believed by authorities to be operating with impunity in Russia. “I used my privilege to buy my voice back. Yes I did. I paid the ransom! On Venmo.” said Stromberg, “Because my customers come first, and they need them some hugs.”

Portland entrepeneurs created the booming Cuddling industry, with several successful businesses offering fully clothed spooning sessions to the mostly hipster crowd. Even a cuddle shop for kids to receive hugs has spring up next to the children’s museum. “Kids need hugs too” said owner Karen Priv, who business has thus far been spared cyber attacks perhaps because she serves kids.

Owners of all the cuddling businesses complained that the malware created supply chain interruptions which crippled their businesses, although none could explain. All of the owners were quick to point out however, that these are legitimate businesses serving an urgent need for Portland millennials. And others.

“We’re not a massage parlor, or anything nasty,” said Stromberg. “We just hug hipsters. And we do old people too. When your Likes are down, we lift you up.”

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler, who likely needs a hug after being under fire from local protestors for months, urged Portlanders to stay calm in a speech live on twitch.

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Jay McAdams

Jay is an LA-based writer and theatre artist writing about the absurdity of everyday life in the 21st century.