SNEAK PEAK - The Bastard Hacker from Michigan
I haven't written one of these in a LONG time. And recently, I wanted to start again, so I started writing this. I decided to grow the story I started in the last one; "The Bastard Hacker from Michigan goes to the UK and meets the BOFH - The Birth of the Bastard Sys Admin from Michigan!
So, I started writing again, and was trying to think up new ideas, and this one has turned into probably the LONGEST story I've written so far.
I've been trying to make it good, but since so much was happening, much like a movie where a Character is learning / growing, you have to have that boring couple of pages where the story is set up. So, sorry about that part, well not really, this is after all a Bastard story so I'm not sorry at all! Hahahahaha... OK back on topic; I decided to keep going with the idea of the "Bastard Hacker from Michigan" meeting up with th BOFH, except I wanted to add a twist; The PFY is already around in these ones, and they meet again, and since I had written it a little different last time, I decided to just make it as though it were all a dream sequence where my Character wakes up, and then the story starts up where the last one left off all over again. So this time, My Character gore, wakes up, and starts the process of being moved to the UK "Parent Company" or "Head Offices" of the company gore worked for, and is told he's going there and there is no way around it. So what to do? Well I wanted the technical aspects of it to be at least a little plausible, and thought for a moment.
I came up with an idea of REALLY big phones with LCD displays, and having my Character gore pull out the internals and gut them, and then take Shuttle PCs and Laptops to use as a MOBO built inside a phone so that you could record calls and do other things to the lusers without leaving a trace on the computers in the offices so the boss would have NO proof at all. I liked it, ran with it, and I'm pretty happy with it!.
Anyway, like I said, all these things going on means a LONG part of explaining and story progression. So I may have to post it in parts because of the size. In fact I'm sure I will, so, enjoy this sneak peak at what I'm working on right now -
The Bastard Hacker from Michigan
Written by; gore
With; Vi / FreeBSD 7.1
"I don't care WHAT you said to the boss! You ARE going to Brittain for a training experience! The CEO of the company, OWNS this company, and you, therefore, work for the same company. They need someone over there to help out, and you are the ONLY one here who knows Unix!"
Well, if you read the last episode, you know I was going on a trip, and seemed to have a dream of some sort of what could happen and having fun... But my boss thinks that just because he signs my pay check, that he can force me over to any country he wants.
For now, I have more important things to do than listen to him so I slip a couple No-Doz in his Decaf bastardization of what anyone could even try to call "Coffee"... who the hell drinks Decaf?
I tell him I'll go if he shuts up and doesn't talk to me for one hour (giving not only the No-Doz time to go, but me time to check out who the hell I'm supposed to go help out in Tea drinking sissy land) and go back to my office.
I load up the Network bandwidth testing package "DooM" and play a few rounds with the head of IT who actually doesn't have his head up his ass, and after about 10 minutes hear a loud crash in the boss's office...That's odd he seems to be shaking...And running around his office....
Ah well, he said he's been trying to find the time to go jogging lately, why not now? The stapler on his desk has done more work for cheaper than he ever has anyway.
A few hours later I'm told where I'll be staying, and who I'm going to be there "helping"... Some guy named Simon Travaglia. Hmmm.... So I have to go all the way to the UK JUST to sort out the corporate head offices because their system admin can't... Yea...Right... And the boss isn't buzzed on Caffeine and laxatives I slipped in his dirty water (Decaf) this morning... I, being a REAL Network Engineer, can see a shaft on a map, let alone in my own office.
The Boss seems to be learning his way to the bathroom at a record speed, so I do some all to familiar *Clicky Clicky* and lock the doors. It's amazing how easy it is to remote control doors once security ordered a new system that is supposed to be used on their office doors to keep people out, that were "accidentally" installed on every bathroom in the office one night when I needed overtime cash.
The boss has a quick brown out, change of clothes, and change of mind apparently. I'm not going to the UK next week, I'm leaving now, or leaving the company... Ah well...
Two hours later I'm on a Company Jet heading to the UK...
Anarchy for the UK! It's coming some time, Might BE!!!
I arrive in town to see where I'm to be staying. My economy room was sadly taken by a "Mr. Wirth" as were other rooms of similar low class, and so I'm moved to the luxury suite right away.
Amazing how fast a phone can reach good news some days.
My "new boss" meets me outside to show me around... Well, take me right to the office, but I guess it's not like telling the kids "we're going to Disney Land!" before taking themto get shots.... The dick.
I walk into the front door, and get my "access card" and get taken straight away to a VERY long and what seems to be "secure" area, stopping in front of two very large doors with "S.T" on the outside.
BOFH / Simon -
So the boss was unhappy with my idea of a good time with his secretary, and the PFY is gone until tomorrow on "vacation" (A junket in Spain) and now I hear something that just won't do... An American is on his way already to address the issues the boss is sure I've caused. Poor lad, he visits the UK once and has to die... It's amazing the number of tools one can use, and yet still finds "Black Mail" to be a great one for a few jobs. I guess I should have started earlier, but I need info on this guy. The only name I was given was "gore"... What the hell I'm bored anyway.
I log into the Servers in the US to check out the company info on "gore" and it seems my machine **** itself. Hmm, maybe he IS a real Network Professional. And looking at the rest of the page shows 297 complaints in 3 weeks. I'm almost impressed. I finish my reading and sadly don't find anything I can really use on him, so I'll have to make some up. A quick *CLICKY CLICKY* and.... **** the PC reboots itself... He is GOOD...
I look up in time to see my boss with a young man towering over my 5'5 boss and waiting for my to open the door. Ah well, good impression and all that..."It's open!"... He won't touch the door but my boss sure gave himself a good zap that he won't remember any time soon. The door opened enough for this "gore" guy to kick it open, then slam it on my Boss's head "accidentally"...4 times... Now I AM impressed.... He got his wallet on the third slam.
The boss looks like he's been drinking non stop for 48 hours without sleep now, and almost falls to the floor. After coming too and screaming what happened, "gore" tells him that he hit his head on the door after tripping over some carpet outside. The boss leaves to figure out where his wallet has gone to, while gore stairs at me with a look that would make most IT staff back up slowly. I however will NOT..
I stand around for a few minutes and then ask what the hell I'm supposed to be doing here. This idiot manager's wallet seems to have a decent amount of cash in it, so I get right to the point:
"I have no idea why I'm here other than my old manager being stupid, and wanting me out. I just got here, I'm tired, and if you think I'm dealing with lusers today you can go f**" I'm interrupted by some for of grinding noise. Apparently the "desktop" I was supposedto use has Epoxy and Grinding Paste in it. Pfft.
"Why would you do that to the Boss's machine I ask? All sweetness as usual!
Simon seems unsure, and realizes I switched the delivery "cart" as soon as I walked in the door.
"Hi, I'm Simon. You must be wearing thick rubber shoes!"
"Yes, I'm a Network Engineer, not an NT admin."
"So, I believe the term you peopleuse is "pub" ? Where is it exactly?"
"Well, we have one down the street but would you really be drinking during a work day?"
"Don't play with me, no admin sits around in the same mental state they woke up with, and if they do it's because they're low life unwashed VMS lusers."
"Or OS/2 of course" I add, typing this out purely to insult those who liked it. ^^l^^
I walk into the comms area to check out what I'll be using here. A vast number of machines running countless Operating Systems and old Database back ends that looks to have been written on stone... Ugh...
Where is my desk?
I'm told my desk is the smaller one in the front and look at the workstation. "WTF is this? I ask insulted by the thought I'd use Open VMS as I "accidentally" kick the machine over... In my hurry to pick it up I accidentally stomp my foot on the machine...12 times.
After watching this new guy stomp the stupidity out of Open VMS, which is no small feat to say the least, I must say I'm impressed. I decide to test the waters, still unsure of my American counterpart and offer to take him to the pub.
We're both on our way out as the PFY, comes back a day early, and sees the new guy standing there.
I decide to tell the PFY what happened, and he asks in code if "gore" needs to be dealt with. I tell him to hold off until the Pub where we are now all heading, to see just how this American orders before making any decisions.
We arrive at the pub and gore walks up to order a Hacker-Pschorr Weiz...Not bad, an American with a taste in Beer that isn't goat's piss! I pull the PFY aside and tell him about the day so far, and about our American visitor, and his way of getting the boss out of our office and his wallet.
gore informs us that he'll be buying as he holds up the boss's wallet. He informs us both that so long as we're forced together, it may well be for the best to just concentrate on the bigger fish to fry, namely the boss, his old boss, and a lot of money screwing the company... In other words he's one of us and why waste our time on each other?
The PFY and I readily agree and gore comes back with rounds for all. I also note he hasn't put any Laxatives in any of the drinks except for one which he puts aside for some reason while looking at the door.
I soon realize his reasons, as the boss walks in with the head bean counter. Gore offers them both a lager in the spirit of "getting to know his UK new co-workers" and pours the Laxative filled alcohol into two glasses. they both decide to sit down and have a drink with us, and then rush to the bathroom.
Hell be back you know, I point out.
"Yes" says gore, "But not as soon as you'd think, I saw this place when your boss came to pick me up and super glued the TP rolls together".
The PFY and I both have a laugh, finish our drinks, and leave. Gore stops by the gents room and uses a door stop to be sure that even if the boss and bean counter DO decide to finish without the paper work, that they won't be coming back any time soon.
We get back to the office, and find some new kit laying by the door. Apparently gore somehow managed to get the boss to order him a special workstation for his arrival. Looking at the specs, I'm actually impressed, given that even the CEO doesn't have one quite like this.
I come back from the bar / pub, and see my machine has arrived! I set it up after using rubber gloves to shove the chair that was left at my desk out and switch it with the head of IT's chair while he's in the rest room again. Maybe it was the extra laxatives I had left that I put in the drinking fountain, but I could be wrong.
I sit down in my new chair and hear a slight compliment from my UK counterpart for the fact that I'm not yelping right now.
The non yelping sound is, of course, short lived. The head of IT must have finally gotten out of the rest room, as a couple hundred jolts of electricity give his testicles a good Jolt he won't forget any time soon... And if the scream is anything to go on, I'd say he's rapidly downloaded some brownware as well.
The "PFY" almost falls off his chair laughing and welcomes me to their Office. I fire up my new machine, and ask them if they'd like to stress test the network responce. After firing up Quake 4, they follow and we have a quick game to decide on who's going to go switch all the voltages on every outlet. Of course me being from America, I can just say I thought it was in the wrong position and didn't want to ruin the bean counter's new server.
2 hours later we're all watching the dual channel audio network display (Flat screen, with remote and dish) when the bean counter from the bar comes in barking about a small fire on their server. I play innocent but they aren't buying it. Hmm, maybe they smelled the gas soaked rags we stuffed in there, but I made sure to stuff them DEEP into the internals of the machine concerned.
I sit back, smugly grinning, while the company lawyer walks by to look at what damages can be charged to the bean counter, since it's his prints all over the pacaging of the rags used.
Of course I blame myself. Well not really, but you know, asking him to pick up the rags and hand them to me earlier while I "cleaned off the dust" on their server to make the case look nicer and cleaner to his surprise, and then setting up the moment happening now.
Just as I stifle a small giggle, the three Musketeers of Bastard Network Inc. (The PFY, Simon, and myself) notice the network monitor almost **** itself. I check the PC concerned with what appears to be a treasure trove of remote spy tools Simon left carelessly in his personal safe, and notice that the user is playing "World of Warcraft".... Not on MY Network I shout!
Simon looks almost proud of me! Would that be stealing his stuff after breaking into his safe, or saying the network was MINE?
Ah well, either way, I track down the user's lusername, password, and home address, to look up on the info page for the company, and get his actual name.
Hmm, Steve Parks. Everyone named Steve is always a dick anyway, the hell with him. I call up "Blizzard" and wait only twice the time it takes for a real one to hit, pass, and the snow to melt to speak to an idiot who should be washing cars instead of being a tech support person.
The IQ of Blizzard staff appears room temperature at best. And I'm talking Celsius here in case anyone thought they were smarter than the average Carrot.
"Yes, is that tech support?!" I growl into the phone.
I put it on hands free and strt a tape recorder to make sure I have something to listen to later. Simon mentioned something about the Bastard Operator club earlier and that I'd be inducted after proving myself, and I guess their word for Operator is the American word for Admin, or whatever...
Anyway, back to the task at hand:
"MY SON WHO IS CURRENTLY PLAYING THIS GAME AT MY COMPANY IS TO HAVE THE ACCOUNT CANCELLED!" I scream into the Phone.
The person on the other end sits there probably contemplating why his finger tingles when shoving it in light sockets, so I continue:
"My Son Stephen was told he would be allowed to play your game, and use MY Credit Card as long as he kept his grades up. He's failing most of his classes because now ALL he does is play this game! He also used MY Credit Card and said it was in HIS name! I want the account CANCELLED N - O - W !!!!!!!!".
I tell the idiot on the line the Credit Card info after a quick message from Simon with some of the more personal information about the luser at hand, and continue into the mouth piece of my phone playing the Mad Dad routine very well I think:
"I will pay for the account use for the next two months without complaint, as long as the account itself is no longer able to access your servers, and I want the thing cancelled YESTERDAY! As I said, I will pay in full for the next two months, and as long as the account is cancelled, I MAYBE won't press charges against the company for NOT verifying in any way that my 14 year old son Stephen was in fact of age to be using a Credit Card. Nor will I bring up the fact that your company doesn't do anything to check the age of accuracy of ANY of the information you ask of your users!".
I stop for a minute for the words chargess and accuracy to sink in.
The moron on the other end, who seems to be under a lot of stress according to this really neat voice analysis software my phone can use thanks to Simon, asks for some details... Ah hell...
"Why are you even asking me to verify details my son MADE UP and pulled out of his .... Yea, he probably did make all of it up! Here is the Credit Card information, and I AM the account holder, now CANCEL it!"
I finally hear an "OK" from this moron, as the account is placed into an instant lock, card payments made, and the account being removed from the sytem.
Looking at the Network analyzer I'd say this is not only true but fast considering most companys won't cancel an account this quickly. Unless of course you bring up legal action against them. Then it's a little faster than the normal 14.4 old modem speeds you're probably used to.
Simon gives a quick chuckle as the PFY and I watch the user on CCTV hitting every key on the keyboard trying to figure out why it says his password and username aren't even valid.
I ask Simon if his phone has any recording devices installed, and see a small print out of a tape storage safe with his phone number on it. I grab a few and chuck them in my player to see if anything of interest is there... Apparently he has a little something on the side. Well, DID... I'm not sure what his Wife will be saying once she checks her voice mail of her private cell phone the luser left in his account details for "Emergency Contact".
Should be an interesting night for him!
The luser calls MY line... Obviously he has the smarts of someone trying to drown a water droplet...
I answer on hands free so as to give my new co-workers my intent of being a good employee, and continue:
"Is this networks?"
"No this is PR.."
"Oh I'm sorry! I've called a wrong number!"
I hang up and get back to stress testing Bottlenecks (Unreal Tournament with Simon and Stephen (The PFY) which I'm currently winning).
You know they're just going to call back don't you?
Me: "Not when I changed the phone they're used to, to a new model, which only allows our particular number to be dialed once a day. If you dial the same number again it gives a good couple of Jolts to the head.
Simon - "How the.."
Me : "Well, your boss was giving me that tour of the building earlier, and while he was doing it, he "tripped" and fell down a flight of stairs so hard he had a shoe looking print on his forehead as though someone had stomped on his forhead... Of course he thinks it was the head of IT..."
Simon - "Why does he think that?"
Me : "Because I "accidentally" tripped him in my hurry to help the boss up and he fell too landing what looked to be feet first on the boss."
Simon : "Well, it's always good to be working with a pro if I say so myself!"
PFY: "You're one of the few people the boss has hired here who knows what they're doing. I must admit I was a little unsure of you at first, having someone invading our office..." The PFY admits, with a due amount of trepidation.
Me : "That's OK, the company I was at in the States was mostly idiots who got their job from being friends with other people inside the company, and of course lying their asses off about their CVs. In fact my old boss, who was hospitalised 34 times in my first 3 weeks for random injuries wanted someone else in my job from day one when he saw photos of himself and his assistant in the "lift" as you guys here call them, riding more than the lift...
Apparently he made it home just in time to grab the letter from his Wife's hands and say it was for him even though it was addressed to her. I got a nice raise from that and a brand new Alienware gaming system before Dell started screwing them up, and he even felt so happy about my work that he "upgraded" the Pentium 3 I was using at work to an Alpha Workstation with a 4 TBs of disk, and 24 GBs of RAM running Tru64 Unix and dual booting FreeBSD.
Simon : "Nice, so you are a professional network engineer aftrer all!" he cries happily.
"One thing... why do they call you gore? Even the human resources dept. in the states didn't have your real name!"
me : "Well, I don't like people having my actual name, and back when I got started in computers, I realized I needed a screen name (TM) and I didn't know what to use. I asked friends and they said most people would make names based on eithe something they liked, or use things that mattered to them. Being a Horror Movie collector who has multiple copys of a lot of the movies that are considered Rare, and so a lot of people called me gore due to my love of oldschool style Horror movies, and in particular "Gore flicks" where the blood content is huge. Sort of like Grindhouse Movies, but the gore stuff interested me. Like Wizard of Gore for example. So everyone started calling me gore and it sort of stuck.
Simon - "Hmm, you like DooM?"
me : "Of course!"
We start up a quick game of DooM and forget about the phone for a second, and then I clear the air about it by just letting them know of a phone system I had been working on back in the States where you would take one of those stupid tiny Computers that are similar to a "Shuttle" and pop out the stuff inside and whack it into a bigger than usual phone so that they were actually small computers, and then from there, you could add in a small capacitor and add a few small pieces of hardware inside that barely fit, and then, the machine would have a program that would respond to certain numbers being dialed. In this case, with a Mainsoutlet the phone is lugged into. All of these idiots use Head Sets on their phones, so you get a nice bolt to the skull.
Simon and Stephen both look a little impressed.
Simon - "Do you by chance have more?"
me : "Of course, I brought some with me on the trip here, and loaded them up in my Hotel room, and just brought some with me knowing an installation of this size, there would be more than one person in need of such a phone. The best part of course is that the Phone still works by making it similar to a Cable Modem which is really as we all know just a sort of router that connects you to the Cable Company Network, and they also sell phone service using these things, so I built a Modem and NIC into the phone, and then used a stripped down version of Linux and BSD on each of the phones. So not only can you build things into these phones, they're running an OS, which means..."
Before I've finished my sentence, Simon and the PFY both have a huge smile on their faces and cry out "You could use SSH or even Telent into these phones and monitor them and even have voice logs!!!!"
me : "Yes! Basically you need this exact model of phone" I say, holding up another set I put together. "Which allows you to put the MOBO into the case of the phone, and then, with a few mods to the typical modem and NIC you can slide these into the Phone on the Mobo, and since they have a small display which is easy to switch to a caller ID only look to it, the Phone is an actual mini computer itself, which allows you to even use the keyboad as a command line, if need be of course, but I also leave SSH and Telnet and even mail and web services on these things to make sure that I can play with them more, which by the way, you may have wondered why the Network Monitor showed a Telephone asking for an IP address through DHCP. It's the phones. They're very bulky, but I told the user in question that the reason they were so big was that you could store almost 2,000 addys and phone numbers in them with a simple Shell interface I built into the phone that just asks for the phone number and a name, and allows an address field too much like a cell phone does, and of course, that's a crap number to give because I built into these HDs. I took a while to decide if I wanted a Solid State Drive or a basic working HD, but either of them work just fine. I even have USB for these things." I say as I notice the grin on both of my new co-worker's faces. Which isn't shocking at all considering I'm pretty impressed with me too.