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The dark room was illuminated by the monitor. The man staring at it was pensive and intense as he read the news story from the Korean text on the screen:
Sentia Solutions Patches BEATTHIS Exploit.
“Sentia Solutions of Dallas, Texas announced today that it has patched the code exploit that caused hundreds of email servers to crash three weeks ago. Zachary Foxborne was credited with leading the team that engineered the patch. Andre Gomez promised the signature update would be available Monday for Sentia Sentinel, the anti-virus software used by millions of computer users.”
He stopped reading there. Leaning back in his chair, he tented his fingers before him and thought. Had only this Ratmir Misko fellow had the diligence to complete his assignment sooner, this would not have mattered. If only Misko had not been so brazen as to demonstrate in such a public forum, this might not have gotten the attention it did that resulted in the patch. As it was, Misko’s code exploit was useless to him now. He only wanted it to deliver the payload rootkit to the South Korean servers, but now, it could be traced. He didn’t dare try it now.
His thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door.
“Excuse me, General, Sir,” the uniformed man said, entering and saluting.
“At ease. What do you want?”
“Your presence is requested in the briefing room.”
“Inform the Chairman I will not be attending.”
The officer paused, not sure what to say.
“I will not attend!” he repeated forcefully.
“Yes Sir. I will tell him, Sir.” And he scurried out the door and closed it softly behind him.
Staring at the screen, he said aloud, “Who are you Zachary Foxborne? You are only a man, are you not?” And he leaned in and opened Bing.com to do a search on his name.
Wikipedia pulled him up and he read:
Zachary Foxborne (born May 25, 1979) was accused of creating two computer viruses in 1996 that exploited pedophiles and violators of bestiality laws.
The first was a simple macro exploit of Microsoft’s email program. The email, sent with the title, “Nude pictures of Jenny – 14 years old and HOT!!!” containing an attachment that, if clicked, executed a macro that sent emails to the first 100 members of the users address list, replicating the message. It also emailed FBI.gov with a different message, titled “I am a sex offender. Stop me, now!”
The Jenny virus continued to proliferate on The Internet for more than a year before it was stopped. It also led to the investigation and arrest of over 300 suspected sex offenders, 122 who were convicted.”
Fascinating – a vigilante hacker, seeking to exploit the perverse parasites on society. And this was when he was only a boy of seventeen. He read on:
“The macro code for the Jenny Virus was used for multiple other exploits by other, unidentified sources for various means, but Jenny Virus is recognized as the original code.
The second exploit was known as the Chancy McChancy exploit. Using similar code, it replicated itself by a macro, sending to the first 100 addresses in a user’s address list when opened. It also contained a link and the text: See a woman DO IT with a horse!!! It had a link clearly identified as: SexWithFurryAnimals.com.
If the user clicked the link, they went to a website that displayed their personal information and threatened to send it to contacts in their email list, spouse, employers and legal authorities, saying they ‘like sex with furry animals’ unless they donated $50 through PayPal with the comment, “Donated by Chancy McChancy,” and returned to the site to enter the payment verification information.
The threat to follow through on notifying the parties mentioned was later determined to be invalid, but over 20 thousand dollars was donated to The Humane Society from sources claiming to be, “Chancy McChancy,” during the years of 1996-1997.”
The General laughed at this. The man even protects the sheep in the field, he thought. Animals have no rights, but men who set the bar so low as to have sex with an animal should be killed.
He read on:
“Zachary Foxborne was brought up on charges for the damages done by both of these viruses, estimated at over 2.2 million dollars. He was acquitted in an undisclosed out of court settlement on July of 1998.”
Interesting. The US court system had an opportunity to make an example out of him, punishing him to the full extent of the law, but they didn’t. Why?
The General scrolled the page down to see the rest:
“During his months pending trail in 1997, Zachary Foxborne worked feverishly at translating the arcane text of the Heusel Manuscript. His translation was later confiscated by the NSA and sealed as top secret.”
Now that is interesting, isn’t it? Thought The General. ‘Heusel Manuscript’ had a link to it, and he clicked it:
The Heusel Manuscript is a handwritten book thought to have been written in the early 16th century and comprising about 240 vellum pages, some with illustrations of what is believed to be stars, deserts and constellations. Although many possible authors have been proposed, the author, script, and language remain unknown. It has been described as the world’s most mysterious manuscript.
Generally presumed to be some kind of cipher text, the Heusel Manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British code breakers from both World War I and World War II, yet it has defied all decipherment attempts, becoming a historical cryptology cause célèbre. The mystery surrounding it has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript a subject of both fanciful theories and novels.
In 2009, University of California researchers performed C14 dating on the manuscript’s vellum, which they assert (with 95% confidence) was made between 1404 and 1430. In addition, the McCrane Research Institute in Chicago found that much of the ink was added not long afterwards, confirming that the manuscript is an authentic medieval document.”
Tenting his fingers again, the General wondered why Foxborne’s translation attempt was taken and sealed as top secret. What could it contain that the US government did not want it known? That alone was enough to want it.
He clicked the back button on the web browser twice and looked at the listing from Bing.com for matches for his search: Zachary Foxborne. Most just looked like old news reports, but there was one for Facebook.
He clicked it, but couldn’t see any information without being a friend. Backing up again, he saw Lucy Foxborne’s Facebook link in the listing. Clicking it he saw her Facebook wall and what was written there. One post by Lucy particularly caught his eye.
“Adoption papers for Ukraine submitted. Now, Zac and I wait.”
“Foxborne,” he said the name aloud. “I want this translation of the manuscript.”
If you are truly born of foxes, then I will need a bloodhound to seek you out. You are going to Ukraine for a child, are you? He stroked his chin and then opened a new email message. “Maybe I still have a use for you, Ratmir Misko.”
“Ah, brother. We will have our revenge.” Ratmir grinned.
Viktor said nothing but looked on. When his brother spoke of ‘we’ he really meant him. He would have his revenge, whatever that might be. Ratmir hated so many people, it would be pointless to guess whom he referred to.
“That prick Foxborne is coming to Ukraine to adopt a child. We will make sure he pays for the problems he caused us! And we will make a pretty coin in the process, getting some manuscript from him.”
Viktor nodded and smiled. He really couldn’t care less. Tonight, he would see his love and that was what kept him going.