Cyberterrorism for Dummies

So! You’re a disgruntled ex-government employee out for revenge and/or to make a truckload of cash. To achieve those goals, you’ve arranged for a series of crippling cyberterrorist attacks against the nation’s infrastructure that will a) stick it to everyone who laughed at your warnings about crippling cyberterrorist attacks and b) write yourself a check for $ALL out of America’s economy while everyone’s too distracted trying to not die. You’ve assembled a crack team of hackers and a kung-fu chick, rented out a big rig to stick them all in, and made sure your technobabble is completely credible.

There’s only one problem: Bruce Willis is going to track you down and kick your ass. If he finds you, you’re dead. He can’t be stopped. He can’t be killed. That’s a fact of life. You know those movies where he dies in the end, or turns out to be dead the whole time? That’s him acting. He’s not acting now. Chuck Norris has nightmares about what Bruce Willis can do to him, and you, sir, are no Chuck Norris. You’re not even a Bruce Schneier.

The good news is, Bruce Willis doesn’t know who you are. The bad news is, you know all those l33t h4><0r d00dz you outsourced the prep work to? They know who you are. Bruce Willis doesn’t have to find you — he just has to find them.

Luckily, you’ve given a little thought to how to deal with the h4><0rz. You’ve been careful to only hire h4><0rz whose PCs have been manufactured in China. As everyone knows, these days every single one of China’s exports is guaranteed to have some sort of deadly little extra. In this case, someone at the factory thought it would be a good idea to strap a couple blocks of C-4 to the motherboard. Now all you have to do is detonate it while they’re surfing the ol’ Ted Stevens Memorial Series of Tubes, and you’ve taken care of both the h4><0r and all the evidence on his hard drive in one fell swoop. Er, blast.

So far, so good. But here’s where you plan starts to go off the rails. You’ve sent your Guys With Guns to watch from across the street to make sure the job gets done. But instead of just detonating the C-4 remotely like any sane terrorist would do, you have them upload a “virus” to the computer, and it will detonate the C-4. OK, I guess that’ll work, in case you don’t want the Guys With Guns to be the Guys With Binoculars And A Remote Detonator. So, the (sigh) “virus” will wait to see some user input to make sure someone’s there, and then detonate, right?

No? The victim has to hit the Delete key to trigger the “virus”? What, the Any key wasn’t good enough? What if the victim’s more of a Backspace man? I mean, I guess you could’ve picked a worse key to use as the trigger (SysRq anyone? Didn’t even know you had one of those, did you?). What if hitting Delete gives him superpowers instead? (It’d make as much sense….) But still, how do you know he’s going to press it before Bruce Willis comes a-knockin’?

You’re… you’re going to make his screen go all weird like a busted TV? Are you serious? First of all, that’s not a sinister plot, that’s a screensaver. Second, wouldn’t that just get the victim to check his video cables? Why would he use the Delete key to try to fix that? These people are supposed to know a thing or two about computers, aren’t they?

Uh oh, is that Bruce Willis knocking on the guy’s door before he reaches for the Delete key? Better get out of there — pretty soon Bruce Willis will be in ur victim’s apartment, killing ur doodz.

7 Responses

  1. Wow, the Ted Stevens memorial series of tubes, bring the internets to 50 people at a small cost of $50,000,000.

    Also, nice reference to freakazoid.

  2. I didn’t remember that the final trigger for turning into Freakazoid was also hitting the Delete key — I happened across that video just yesterday — but I do remember it was caused by a bug in the CPU that would activate if you hit the right sequence of keys, and Dexter’s cat did it by walking on the keyboard, and Dexter hit Delete to, well, delete the gibberish.

    I remember that from the show, yet I can’t remember the password to log into my bank’s website. Stupid brain.

  3. Track you down and kick “your” ass. :)

    Also, I had no idea I had that key.

  4. *sigh* That’s been two typos now.

  5. I always remembered that the trigger ended with hitting delete because I have the Scottish guy’s voice in my head saying: “A sequence of keys FOLLOWED BY DELETE.”

    He haunts my dreams at night. Thank God I used a PowerBook where the key that says delete is actually backspace.

  6. I forgot all about him! OK, I’ll see your Scottish guy and raise you a supervillain who gets his powers from the same procedure and is voiced by Ricardo Montalban.

  7. Only two people have the easy-flow elbow, and one of them happens to be named Bruce Willis.

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