The Thin Line

the thin line

Just imagine a dark basement room, no natural light and only some light bulbs switched on in one corner of the room. The whole room is full with cables, opened computer cases, pizza boxes, diet coke cans and the complete series of Playboy 2010. When you come closer to the corner with the light, you notice three 22″ screens, several keyboards, mice and other electronic gadgets such as a USB controlled rocket launcher. Below the table you can get a glimpse at two computer cases, semi-closed with green water being channeled through both of them. On the chair in front of that desk a teenager sits, eating some cold pizza and flushing it down with some diet coke. His hands move over the keyboards as he would be in a rush to do something, maybe hide something.

If you take a look over his shoulder you see him reboot his system. First he enters a rather short sequence of numbers and letters in a black window on a black background. The BIOS password has been entered correctly and therefore the booting continues. Would he not have known the password he could have searched online for master passwords. Like a master key, master passwords are created from several mainboard manufacturing companies in order to facilitate technical maintenance. If he would not have found it online or it did not work, he could just unplug the battery from the mainboard, boot, shutdown, plug in the battery and then boot. BIOS password should be disabled by now.

Step two, he enters his OS password. If Linux or Windows, it is only useful if you are working and while going to the CR you need to lock your screen. If you are away from keyboard for more then, say 3 minutes, no need for it at all. Bootable UNIX CD put in the tray, reboot, LiveOS booted and then most of the data can be copied and accessed without going through the trouble and thinking of which OS password the user might have used.

No wireless network card is inside the computer. The first thing he is doing is taking another sip from the can before tossing it in the direction of the trash can. Of course, he misses. Then he launches a first program, a virtual privacy network. All communication between his computer and the Internet is not channeled through a generic-secretive-country’s server, encrypted and anonymized. Online. Depending on how he feels, he looks online for the updated proxy lists and proxies his browser traffic with one or more other proxies, effectively making that connection relatively slow but how fast would you be, traveling around the world only to go from San Diego to San Francisco?

Next step is launching his decryption tool. His hands fly over the keyboard, hitting numbers, letters and symbols in order to complete his 24 digit password. He repeats this process two more times, different keys, different containers now revealing most of his data. Of course not the data, he does not need Internet for, the inner circle of data so-to-speak. Now, he finally launches other programs such as Instant Messengers, Email, Internet Relay Chat… . All of their traffic of course being redirected via the VPN.

He logs into different IRC channels, taking a bite from his pizza. He tunes in his favorite Internet radio, puts on the headphone and greets his online friends. One of the channel he just joined discusses the coming aims for their collective Distributed-Denial-Of-Service attack. He likes to feel part of it by just reading what they write. It feels so secret, so exciting.

Paranoid, Criminal or Protective about his Privacy? Thin line.

Leave a Reply