Friday 10:22 AM, at Meriabeck.
cbrooks: Thank God it’s Friday!
Haven: No shit, I can’t wait to get out of here
cbrooks: Got any plans for later?
Haven: Yeah, Fred was talking about barbecuing want to join us for a few beers and perhaps a game of Risk?
cbrooks: Sounds great!
Haven: Nice, so what’s up?
cbrooks: Not much, I have to check the backup tapes, but things seem to be quite slow today.
Haven: Man, I hate that! It’s boring to no end.
cbrooks: Well it’s nice enough on some days, I might start doing the reporting for WSUS if nothing comes up.
Connection timed out
“Hi Christopher, Jake’s printer doesn’t work and he wants it fixed asap.” Mary was Jake Gordon’s assistant and Jake usually sent her running to Christopher Brooks, the sys admin at Meriabeck, whenever something on the network didn’t work.
“His printer?” Christopher sounded very confused, “I thought it was the sales department’s printer.”
Mary smiled, “well he wants it fixed yesterday”.
“But it was working yesterday, why didn’t he print the document then?” Christopher joked, opening up Firefox and typing in http://p-ljc-sales/.
Server not found
He opened a shell instead:
ping p-ljc-sales.lan.meriabeck.com [enter]
Unknown host p-ljc-sales.lan.meriabeck.com
Connection timed out, Christopher got an uneasy feeling when he thought about his irc session timing out.
Kathy Delgado walked into his office and blurted out. “Chris I’m unable to send emails, and the phones don’t work”.
“Hang on,” Christopher said typing commands:
The current directory is invalid.
*** Default servers are not available
Default Server: UnKnown
“Did you say the phones didn’t work?” Christopher turned his attention to Kathy.
“Yep, both of them died when I was talking. When can you get the mail working?”
“Were you talking on both your phones at the same time?,” Mary asked with a laugh.
Christopher wasn’t listening any more, he was running to the server room.
Inside the server room several of the servers had blue screened, others where shutting down. Within minutes there were a crowd of people in the server room, all of them wondering when everything would be back to normal, some of them were screaming.
What Christopher got most annoyed with were the ones trying to help or guess what had happened.
When someone asked, “have you checked the UPS’?” he almost cried. The best thing that happened during the morning was when Mary brought him a cup of coffee. As always the coffee at work tasted like a bad joke but right now it was sorely needed.
After bringing the first server back to life Christopher managed to relax a bit. He meant to phone Haven, or Sean as he was called in real life, to tell him that he wouldn’t be coming to the barbeque tonight. Sean was also a sys admin and his help could be useful. His mobile phone had been reset, for a moment he considered activating it but dropped that idea as he realized he didn’t have Sean’s number in his head. Since he got his first cell phone he had stopped remembering numbers.
What is going on?, he thought. The victorious feeling from bringing back the server had faded when he saw his cell phone and was utterly crushed when he heard a scream in the office.
Christopher hardly ever saw Michel Bordeleau, the CEO of Meriabeck, but today when he walked into the server room the executive looked like a ghost.
“We have some serious trouble.” Michel said.
“I know,” Christopher started, “I’m working on getting everything back up.”
“Don’t touch anything, it will be needed as evidence.”
“Sir?” the sys admin said uneasily.
“What we need now is access to the Internet and a phone.”
“But the firewall is toast.”
“I don’t care. I just have to get online with my laptop. Ms. Delgado will also need to be connected.”
“We have an old D-link router I think we could connect.”
“Great,” Michel gave his cell phone to Christopher, “and can you fix this, I need to make a call.”
“Sure, but you won’t have access to your contacts.”
“That’s not a problem. I have them cached in Outlook. Remember, don’t touch anything.”
After setting Michel and Kathy up with an Internet access, Christopher opened Outlook on his workstation and grabbed Sean’s number.
Sean was all excited when he called, and congratulated Christopher and the people at Meriabeck. At first Christopher hadn’t a clue of what his friend was talking about. After a few minutes Christopher realized why his CEO had looked like a ghost.
The following Monday there were some talk about the stock holders suing the executive officers at Meriabeck for failing to protect the company’s network and good name.
During a press conference on Monday afternoon Kathy Delgado explained to the public what had happened and that Meriabeck would do all that it could to help the authorities to catch the responsible hacker.
A week after the event the stocks had stabilized at 5% under what it was sold for the previous week.
After that week Christopher felt like he had never needed a vacation as bad as he did now.
Please note this is a purely fictional story, any names found here are made up. I’ve written this because I like writing, if someone reads it and enjoy it: great. If they get more conscious about security, that’s a bonus. If you have feedback or comments on the story please share them.
Links of Interest:
Cognitive Hacking and the Value of Information
Emulex Fraud Hurts All
The Art of Deception
[tags]security, stories, fiction[/tags]
Nice job! I enjoyed it immensely! keep up the good work!
Patrick Ogenstad says
It’s great that you like the story and thank you for telling me!
Man, I really like reading your stories! This one was very well thought out and put on paper (you know what I mean).
You should really contact those Stealing The Network guys and see if they can use you for their next book! 🙂
Patrick Ogenstad says
From what I’ve heard there are only going to be four Stealing the Network books, according to Amazon the last one How to Own a Shadow was scheduled to be released today. So my guess is that it’ll be out very soon.
It would be fun to write a book some day though, but for now I’ll just stick with my short stories. I hope you’ll enjoy the coming ones as much as you liked this one!