I got hacked mid-air while writing an Apple-FBI story

Steven Petrow for USA Today:

Just before midnight last Friday, my plane touched down in Raleigh after a three-hour flight from Dallas. As usual, I’d spent much of the flight working, using American Airlines Gogo in-flight Internet connection to send and answer emails. As I was putting on my jacket, a fellow in the row behind me, someone I hadn’t even noticed before, said: “I need to talk to you.” A bit taken aback, I replied, “It’s late … need to get home.”

“You’re a reporter, right?”

“Um, yes.”

“Wait for me at the gate.”

[I didn’t answer, but I did wait.]

“How did you know I was a reporter?” I asked while we started walking.

“Are you interested in the Apple/FBI story?” he responded, ignoring my question.

“Kind of. Why are you asking me that?” I thought he was some kind of creepy mind reader.

Then he dropped the bombshell.

“I hacked your email on the plane and read everything you sent and received. I did it to most people on the flight.” He had verbatim detail of a long email that he repeated back to me essentially word for word.