Monte Cassino, 1944
Iwo Jima, 1945
The more I learn, the worse it seems. Monte Cassino, Bastogne, and Iwo Jima are only three examples from hundreds. It isn't acceptable that so many men endured so much only to have us lose our liberty through stupidity or negligence. It's an insult to the memory of those men. We should do something about the fascist police state that the United States has become. We shouldn't compromise with it. That's only another form of surrender. We could try to destroy it but, usually, revolutions only replace one police state with another one. Maybe the best option is to abandon it. For that, we don't need a revolutionary army. We can do it as individuals. So, let's "get off of our asses and onto our horses", and get started.
|The Diary of Cyber Sleuth: Day Eight
Fiction by Sam Aurelius Milam III
The bosses wanted me to get into the LAN of a large brokerage firm. The less identity I mention the better so I won't say it was Scottrade or Fidelity or TD Ameritrade. Maybe a different one. Maybe one of them. Anyway, NSA wanted to know some stuff about them. That was one of the times when my NSA work-load interfered with what I wanted to do but I managed to get some fun out of it anyway. I'm good at turning things to my own advantage. Anyway, the bosses sent me over to the brokerage firm, to look around. Visited the place just the once, posing as an auditor from SEC, all the arrangements had been made at the brokerage firm although SEC didn't have a clue.
Hacking involves research. Most outsiders don't know that. They think hackers just try a few passwords, make some lucky guesses, and we're in. Not usually. It takes research. That old movie War Games was a good example. The kid learned enough about the original programmer so that he could guess the man's own back door password, skids as I like to call them. That movie was part of my early inspiration. Anyway, NSA has the best access to the most information in the entire world. Congressional Research Service? People think they work for Congress. They work for us. Hell, Congress works for us. All of those guys really work for us. People just think otherwise. Anyway, no matter how much information you can review in print, sometimes it's good to see things for yourself. The more you know about your target, the more likely that you'll get in. So, I visited the brokerage firm.
They had a damn big room full of desks, people, computers, no partitions. Everything out in the open. Hundreds of people all figuring out ways to get money from suckers while making the suckers think they were getting money from the brokers. Worse thieves than NSA. They had some damn good security, too. At the back of the room they had an employee break area, not a break room, just some stuff along the back wall. They had stuff like a microwave oven, a coffee maker, a refrigerator, that sort of thing. All in line-of-site of a half dozen or so of their computers in the back row. I wouldn't even mention it except that it turned out to be important later. Could have been important if things had worked out different. Anyway, the stuff was there.
Back at the office I worked at it for a while and I'd probably have gotten in anyway, eventually, but I suddenly had a flash of an idea. I thought of something that would be faster, if it worked, and it would be a hell of a lot more fun. I like to have fun, play around, experiment, and that's what I did. I did it just like they do on the TV programs. Used a utility van, grubby electricians coveralls, a big tool box. Got the whole shebang from some rental agencies, even had it delivered to the NSA back lot. The bosses never knew. The agencies all thought they got paid. Great fun. I drove right up to the back of the brokerage. Nobody gave a damn. Those TV shows must be right because nobody asked me what the hell I was doing there. I fumbled around, made some noise, dropped a few things, cussed a lot, acted like I was getting paid by the hour, anybody watching couldn't tell me from a union electrician. So, I clipped onto the power line that went into the place. I had a laptop sitting in the passenger seat hidden under a sheet of racing forms, hovering over their internet connection, ready to pounce just in case my bright idea worked. I had another computer hooked through my clips into their power line. Needed a little filtering, of course, to protect the computer from the power line. No problem if you know how to do it.
I started sending binary code into the power line. With all their stuff out in the open like that, in that big open room, I figured all I needed was for one of their computers to have an IR port that was pointed toward a light, to have the light be incandescent, and to have it be powered from the power line that I was using. Remember I mentioned that hacking requires research first? This was one time when I goofed. I didn't do the research first and I discovered that I didn't know as much about power lines and light bulbs as I should have known. The idea didn't work. It was fun to get out and clomp around like an electrician but I had to find some other way to get into the brokerage firm.
I'd already visited the place as an SEC guy and I was uneasy about going in again. I needed something different. They had a cable TV in the place and I thought about trying to get into the IR ports on the computers through the IR port on the cable box. It might have worked but this thing with the power line
|had turned on my stubborn streak. I just
wanted to bypass everything with something unconventional. Any decent
hacker could get into the cable company and mess around with a cable box.
I did some research. Found out when the people at the brokerage firm were expecting some office supplies to be delivered and from where. Don't like using other guys, like to work alone, but, hell, I work at NSA so sometimes I use NSA guys. I got the NSA tech guys to build me a gizmo. The hardest part was arranging to get the gizmo included in the next delivery of office supplies. It was just routine arranging of purchase orders, deliveries, and so on. Not worth putting here. Anyway, the shipment included my gizmo, a coffee maker that they hadn't ordered. I figured they'd just set it up in their little employee break area, at the back of the office. The coffee maker had an IR port and my code in it. As soon as they plugged it in, my Inside Man would be inside of their computers right quick. Who'd ever have expected the people at a brokerage firm to be honest? They're a gang of thieves. Against all the odds, they sent the thing back. Damn.
I did some more research and discovered that one of the women who worked there was due for a birthday. Hell, maybe something simple. I had the NSA tech guys make another gizmo, one of those talking birthday cards. It had two IR ports, front and back. I loaded my code into it and sent it to her from a secret admirer. I figured that if she opened it at her desk, in front of her computer, maybe it would work. I had my computer at my office hovering, waiting for the birthday card to send my Inside Man into her computer and, believe it or not, it worked. My Inside Man was in their system quicker than you can say Jack Robinson. He created a set of skids for me, a back door as the wannabe hackers like to call it. After that, I could have access to the whole place any time I wanted it. Later that day, I looked around the place with some of their webcams. I found one where I could see the birthday girl in the back-ground. The talking birthday card was sitting on the edge of her desk. She kept showing it to people. She looked like the happiest woman alive. I felt like a complete jerk.
I never did tell any of this stuff to the bosses, just kept it for my own little secret. Once I was in the brokerage LAN, I did what looked like a standard hack, since I was already in it was easy. That's all the bosses ever knew about it.
The Diary of Cyber Sleuth: Day Nine
Fiction by Sam Aurelius Milam III
I mentioned somewhere in this diary, a couple of years or so ago, that my NSA workload was beginning to interfere with the things that I really wanted to do. Some time after that, I created a set of orders, from the very highest level, to have me transferred to temporary liaison duty with MI5, in the UK. Of course, MI5 never heard of it but the proper replies were received from the proper levels at MI5. Just in case, there's a record that MI5 had me transferred to overseas work with SIS (MI6, as some people like to say), on assignment to Mossad. At Mossad, I had myself assigned to undercover work in Lebanon. Nobody will ever be able to find me unless I want to let somebody know that I'm still in the conference room at the end of the hallway in the basement. I had my assigned office reserved for when I'm reassigned back to the local area. If ever, like never.
After I finished all of that stuff, which took me about a year to accomplish safely, I was satisfied about my new status. Officially, I'm still working at NSA, National Security Agency. Actually, I'm nsa, no such agency.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
My thanks to the following: SantaClara Bob; Lady Jan the Voluptuous; my mother; Dewey and Betty; Eric, of Ione, California; Robert, of Soledad, California; Robert, of Murphys, California; and FL, of Corcoran, California.
Words of Wisdom
Original Source Unknown. Forwarded by Lady Jan the Voluptuous.
The Last Word: Hers
Original Source Unknown. Forwarded by Sir Donald the Elusive.
A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede the point. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."
The Last Word: His
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Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor