Copyright (c) 2010 David Kessler
It was only a set of fingers flying across a keyboard, yet they could work so much malice.
She watched in awe as her words appeared before her, the letters on the screen keeping pace with her fingers. What was so amazing was how little she had to change to wreak so much damage. All she had to do to alter the behavior of an entire computer program was make minor alterations to just two of the lines of the program. Hackers and “midnight programmers” would laugh at the absurd simplicity of it. Some of them might even have been mildly amused by the sheer audacity of it. But few of them would have condoned her objectives.
She wasn’t doing it for fame or glory. She was doing it for justice – plain, old-fashioned justice.
As she continued her work, she glanced up and looked out through the window. In the distance she could see the flickering lights of the nocturnal city and they reminded her that there was a world out there beyond her private world of vengeance. But she forced herself to ignore the distraction. Her fingers continued to dance across the keyboard in the small pool of halogen light that fell upon the desk. The rest of the room was in darkness.
After a few more seconds she paused, satisfied with the results of her labors. Then, with a couple of clicks on the left button of the mouse, it was done. She had created a new version of the program.
And what a new version!
She thought about it now, almost wistfully. Getting the original source code had been rather tricky. She’d had to use some of her old contacts to break down the bureaucratic barriers. But many States had public records or freedom of information laws. She wished that she could infiltrate the altered program everywhere. That would be something of a coup. But she had to be realistic.
When she first started out, she had no idea that she would even be able to do it. It was more idle curiosity than a firm agenda that had prompted her to explore the possibility. But when she studied the documentation and asked a few questions of a professor to understand how the software worked, it suddenly dawned on her just how easy it would be.
Of course, slipping it in undetected would be the hardest part. There were various ways she could do it. One was to hack into the server computers and upload the new program. But that was risky.
There was, however, another way to infiltrate the new version of the software that didn’t involve hacking at all. That way was to get the systems administrator to install it themselves. The key to this method was to make it seem as if it were a modification of a current program that they were already using. By packaging the program complete with forged letterhead and then sending it out by special courier, she could trick their SysOps into installing the new version under the erroneous assumption that they were getting an upgrade from the software company. It would be the ultimate software hack followed by the ultimate in social engineering.
And now she was going to make the niggers pay.
Buy No Way Out now to read the rest of this exciting thriller…