#157: A Higher Purpose

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

Why do we, crucify ourselves…” he thought along to the song playing on his stereo. [Why indeed…] he pondered, typing away at his keyboard. The young man hunched over forming words out of keystrokes, sipping his Safeway Select Diet Cola. Wet hair hung down onto his shoulders as he thought of what he did. Twelve Forty Nine was the time on the neon clock across the room, next to the lava lamp. On the opposite speaker sat his electric globe, just below his ‘1A switch clock’.

The stereo played on, oblivious to the television next to it snowcrashing past the channels last broadcast. Minicom loaded on his computer, and randomly dialed one of the many numbers in his database. It randomly selected the Water Conservation Commission’s home computer and connected. [Login Password Delete_Log Rlogin Connect Run_Script] He sighed waiting for the script to run, hiding his movement on the system beyond what he had done. Seconds passed and his prompt re-appeared, waiting to take his commands. [Mail Plans Forty_One_Minutes] Another script and his mail came on screen, automatically filtering his mail into separate categories [Mail_lists Admins Personal Secure].

A white box appeared on his screen as the mail transferred to his own system. He opened another window on his machine and checked one of his other processes. Four new carriers had been found since he last checked his logs. A third window opened and he checked another process. Eighty three new accounts on secops.ai.mil and surely more to come. [Ironic ‘secops’ so unsecure] Twenty Four minutes left.

Twenty two minutes away, he would just make it. He crossed through an intersection and looked down at his dash. [No Attention Tonight] He picked up his cell phone and speed dialed number forty one. Two clicks after he connected he heard the first ring. [Third_Line Scanning Mail_Check] “But beware… of those angels with their wings glued on..” blasted in the background. “There in 20” and he hung up, accelerating a little more. His turn for drinks this week before he made his first pick up. He grabbed his oki and dialed -#--5 and the phone went to work, tumbling against the unseen cell tower nearby. Ten seconds later and the phone had reprogrammed itself with five new numbers.

Half watching the road he plugged his cell into the laptop nestled between the front seats, and hit a button. He powered on and watched the boot sequence out of the corner of his eye. [Volume_Up System_OK Auto_Load Dial] The laptop took command of the phone and dialed a preset sequence, paused, dialed another number, paused, dialed a third number, paused, and carrier. [Connect Login Execute_Script_7] He had worked on the script for twenty minutes earlier this night. It connected to a DMS10 downtown and logged in before it began its code. [Eight_Minutes Pick_Up] Maintenance was running on the switch slowing his commands down, but it didn’t matter. He was on schedule, and the script completed flawlessly.

He parked the modified suburban on the side of the Conoco and jumped out. [Secure] A flick of his keychain and the vehicle armed itself, barely audible over the noise of the gas station. [Beer Diet_Coke Snapple Chips] One by one he set the large bottles on the counter along with the chips. The twenty one year old pulled out his ID/Debit card and handed it to the cashier. He watched the display on the register, and the flash of numbers crossed quickly. [Authorized It_Worked] The bag of snacks was pretty heavy, but he silently thanked the mayor for funding this little stop. His own debit number had not crossed a register in months.

Five minutes later, he picked up the first.

The two young men sped down the highway, one driving, the other typing away. One laptop between the seats, the other in the passenger’s lap. Two cells sat in a custom holder, both hooked up to their respective computers. In between the seat was a thief, stealing proprietary source code to a new version of a popular O/S used by many commercial net providers. The machine on the lap was a trespasser, going deeper into a USWest security vax, sorting through the information contained on the drives.

Another half hour would pass before they rendezvoused with the other three members of their group. Collectively, they had spent over a year planning this night out, rehearsing it in their minds, covering any and all possibilities for what might occur. They were each specialists in one field or another. Each played their part on every excursion away from their homes.

[Windy Good_Cover Almost_Time] Eyes closed, the driver of the jeep bounced his head with the beat of the music. The passenger looked out over the rolling hills in front of him through his binoculars. Depressing a button on the top of the lenses, the view shifted to night-scope and he surveyed the land again. His mind navigated hundreds of ways to approach the compound, weeding out unsecure paths. In the back seat sat the fifth individual, resting, silently singing to the song on the stereo. [“they present dangers untold, and the secrets are mine to hold…”] The song filtered to the back of his mind as he went through the list of equipment in his head. Triple checking each item in his backpack. He knew only of half the obstacle he would have to get through, but he was confident it would happen. [We’re too good not to do this.]

Suburban met jeep at the top of the hill, all lights out as it moved in next to the jeep. Slowly, the last of the antennae’s on the suburban slowed to a stop, and the two vehicles emptied. Five men stood on the hill and looked out at the compound below them. Unmanned, but still a difficult target. [The risk was worth it]

A hacker. A phreak. A B&E expert. A strategist. A social engineer. They each specialized in one area, yet knew more than most in the others. The B&E expert led the way down the hill, the other four following ten paces behind. [Private_Property Bullshit] The group passed three signs warning the property they were on was private, warning of dangers that lay beyond.

Three days had passed, all of the individuals remained untouched by the law. The police were too busy handling the riots that had ensued after the release of the stolen information. It would take weeks before anyone tracked down how it had happened, and would probably never get as far as discovering who had done it.

“Some information wants to be free” typed across the screen. One last stroke across the keyboard and the message went out to millions of people that had been reading about the recent events.

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