This is a serialized novel.
29th December, 2017
A web is a collection of beautifully interconnected threads… be it the silken threads of the spiderweb or the threads of messages and coded instructions of the world wide web.
And for both, if you need to destabilise it or control it, there is no use of starting from a random thread somewhere in the center of it all, because you would never really know where to go next.
But, if you start from an end, a loose end that connects to the outside world, there is only one path forwards, one that would take you all through until you reach the center.
One that would let you wreak havoc throughout.
01:45 PM GMT
For Natoshi, the internet had quite a few loose ends and he was particularly interested in the ends that were part of the Internet of Things: the ‘smart’ toasters, refridgerators and microwaves.
So, Natoshi probed around until he found the source code of an up-and-coming smart refridgerator manufacturer, went and bought a fridge from them and got it delivered. And then, he set to work.
He brute forced through the machine’s firewall and uploaded some code to it’s internal processor. What this processor would then do was that it would keep processing Natoshi’s code along with the rest of the code that was already there… but, Natoshi had made it a point to mark his code as the master code, which meant that the refridgerator’s processor handed over it’s entire processing power to the master code and would not really pay attention to it’s existing code, which would then later get erased to make more space for Natoshi’s usage.
And then it was time to sit back and watch the magic unfold. Natoshi was particularly interested in this manufacturer because the code that they had uploaded to their refridgerator’s processors was such that it didn’t require any authentication and considering that there were not many who would bother taking apart their fridges to look at the code working behind the scenes, they had actually created a network of their smart fridges to ensure that any update in code would be reflected throughout the network.
Which basically made Natoshi’s job that much easier.
Once his fridge had accepted the new master code, it sent it out on the network as a new update. And there was one more sneaky thing in the code. It took control of the rest of the machines in each of the home networks that the refridgerators were a part of… which meant that in about 20 minutes, Natoshi had an army of machines, all of them connected to the internet, at his bidding.
02:02 PM GMT
On a plane somewhere over the Mediterranean
Verkit was trawling (not trolling) the internet. And for once, he was happy about the change of pace in his life. There was nothing more monotonous than a 19 hour long flight from the musty, dusty markets filled with gusty winds from the oases of Egypt, into the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungles of Seattle. And as always, the struggle to decide which was worse was still going on strong.
Once Verkit had gotten through the park entrance (after nicking a New York Knicks cap and a camera that had fallen into the undergrowth, probably in the midst of someone’s rush of getting away from the fire), he had joined in with the chaotic screaming (just for the fun of it) and was easily escorted out to safety, with not even a second glance.
And knowing that he was partly responsible for the fire, he went back to his ‘friend’ at the market and entrusted the remaining weapons with him. In return for the ‘gifts’, he had been escorted to the airport, been bought an already confirmed ticket to San Francisco and had suddenly (and mostly, magically) found himself at the boarding gates, despite the usual holiday rush as people scrambled to escape to cooler countries for the holidays.
After settling in for the first leg to London (he was on British Airways and would have a layover at Heathrow), he had pulled up the good, old “vigilante’s” messaging board on Tor. And there were a few updates.
One update that caught his eye was about the creation of a large number of online bots, most of them being hacked smart, connected home appliances, seemingly randomly coming online from all over the world.
This actually happened all the time, people trying to hack into other’s appliances, just for the heck of it and then playing around with the settings to scare the poor folks. How would you feel if suddenly the lights in your bedroom started flashing some time after midnight, just because a hacker on the other side of the globe had just woken up, was bored and needed some entertainment? Yep, that about sums it up.
But this was an unusually large number… probably someone’s idea of a holiday prank. Thinking thus, Verkit dismissed the update, had a couple of shots and settled in for a nap. He HAD to while away those 5 hours to London.
This is a serialized novel.