Aug 22, 2013


Pip install the numpy guns, she yelled down from the barricade as yet another volley of site-o-plasma came raining over the firewall.  Ducked down beside the emulator, Miles cursed at the terminal. !!.

> Permission to curse denied.
> sudo !!
> #########...................................................................................

It's nine am on a Thursday morning and all throughout the blogosphere pirate attacks are in full swing.  The WorldPress team, just Miles and Jen at this point, has gotten themselves trapped up in a corner of the Chromeworld.  Their assignment was to rejoin with the rest of the larger WorldPress who was waiting for them just pass the Safari compass.  They had taken a detour through some Ukranian proxy and had to take an unexpected trip to the Caribbean to avoid a few channel TOR narcs, so they were running about 8 hours behind schedule.  They had received no new updates from the larger site, just a few dropped ACKs in the TCP channel that Miles was a bit worried about.  It didn't help that the the WorldPress team's public site had been throwing back 500's since 10pm the night before.

Miles was brew installing the root kit that he had grabbed freshly updated from the Cellar during a brief interlude the night before, when the port in the firewall nearest him started flashing a dull magenta.  "Incoming", Miles yelled, abandoning the terminal screen to dive behind a stack of discarded vim buffers.  The port opened with a hiss with a burst of spam data.  It was a fill-out attack, meant to plaster in any holes, including the one where Miles and Jen were occupying.  Rising faster than a tsunami on the Japanese coast, and as sticky as that fly-paper Miles' Southern Baptist Oklahoman grandmother had insisted on hanging from every beam in her ranch house, the spamdat quickly covered the terminal and began rising up towards the buffers where Miles had fled.

The spamdat was noxious, oily black colored.  The tingle of vodka that wafted up from it hinted at a Baltic or Moscovian origin, but from the way the tide pools flowed RTL, he figured it may come from the deeper Tajikistan.  Curses.  This stuff had byten more dev troops in the past month than Miles had been able to keep count of.  And no one was sure where it was coming from.  Jen bet that the tracerts would point back to an infiltration of the CDNs, but you just didn't corrupt CDNs like that.  To get root on a CDN, it'd have to be an inside job.

But who?  Miles didn't really have time to contemplate at the moment.  Ever since the had gotten taken down by a rouge Anonymous cell from Somalia, proving solidly that the DNS system could be compromised (and in fact had been), the entire state of the Internet had been royally fracked.  Authentication and veracity had quickly become fracked.  Everyone had their own certs, but there was speculation that someone had discovered a prime-hack for those as well.  It was just hard to know who to trust these days.

The spamdat was almost over the vim buffers.  Miles could feel it eating away towards his kernel.  This might be the end of this run.  He tried hand-signalling Jen with a pm on the IRC, then a broader hail mary to anyone that may be listening in #world-press.  No response.  Time to pull out.

The world went dark as Miles unplugged from the simulator, lolling back into his captain's chair and silently cursing at the walls of the cardboard box where he hung out on weekends.

He was only ten, and his Mom didn't like him spending time on the nets, understandable since it was mostly to blame for the stock market crash, the housing collapse, the rise of the Nigerian prince cabal.  They now made their living renting out the living room on Airbdrm, when the Paypal networks seemed to be functioning, and giving it over to a licey Couchcrashers when it wasn't.  For a while, she had attempted to make a living as a SalesForce jedi, one of the legions of pseudo hacks who walked around in tight jeans, black shirts, blazers and a plethora of conference badges that hung in bunches from their necks like anti-virus talismens.  If this was 17th century days they'd be crosses.  The Jedi gig didn't last long -- their real immunity had been rooted in supreme inability, but they were a timebomb nonetheless.  Eventually, some budding Chinese hacker had decided to cut her teeth on the Jedi-Fileshare and that was the end his mom's foray into the hackulture.

She now worked for USPS.

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