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Raxworthy: For the greater good

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kill. Lionel typed the command into the kernel. The two gigabytes of ram alongside the 2 gigahertz core duo in the laptop sped up the shutdown process. It was the latest model of the Toshiba Portege, and was running Linux – Red Hat Fedora core 5. Lionel generally booted up in console-mode – sure, the lack of a Graphical User Interface meant more power for the processes he ran, the massive algorithms. But if he asked himself the truth, Lionel would admit that the main reason he did it was because it looked so cool.

With impressive use of the wrist, Lionel flicked the lid of the laptop down – click. Not too hard and not to lightly. In the same movement, he slid his finger under the front of the closed laptop, and picking it up, he held it up in front of him – where he sat in the passenger seat of the Nissan Primera.

“Hey Darren, check it.” Using his left hand, Lionel grabbed the Compaq laptop bag from where it was down by his feet. The good thing with this laptop bag was that it opened up the top, not the usual zip up the side. Flicking the top flap open, Lionel dropped the laptop. With split second timing that could only have been perfected through practice, he held the laptop bag with both hands. The Portege dropped – directly into the open bag. When it was just about halfway in, Lionel tilted the bag, slowly at first, then very quickly, - a 90 degree turn, bringing the bag horizontal – cushioning and slowing the fall of the laptop at the same time. “Howzat?”

Darren waited for eye-contact with his brother, and then rolled his eyes and turned up the radio. “World wide suicide” by Pearl Jam was playing. “Stop mucking round ok... Have you done it or not?” Darren's nerves were just about gone. He had had no sleep the last two nights – and too much E2 and Lift+. A killer head-ache and an irritating younger brother made a mean combination.

“Yeah, she's all good laddy – no need to get worked up”. Lionel spoke with the Scottish-Cornish-Irish accent that he was constantly “perfecting” as he called it. “Ok, sorry mate, I'm just flippin wasted ok... Let's shoot through”. The handbrake came up. Clutch. Reverse. Darren's foot contacted with the accelerator pedal. Easy on the fuel, - waiting until the tyres found their grip – then he let it rip, left arm on the passenger seat head rest, Darren reversed with set jaw, the mirthless, apathetic smile sending a compulsive shiver up his brother's spine.

“You're doing 50! You'll flippin kill us!”. The car continued to accelerate backwards, along the pot-holed, twisty gravel track that the locals called a road. Stealing a glance at the speedo, Darren saw that he was doing just over 65 kilometers per hour. Spinning the wheel to the right as far as it would go, Darren killed the brakes. The car responded nicely – all four wheels stayed on the ground – stones and clumps of dirt flew high as the tyres tore up the track. As the nose of the fuel-injected Straight 4 Nissan lift-back faced the road ahead, Darren swung the wheel back to the left, straightening up. Clutch. First gear. Thrash that accelerator pedal.

Two fairly well spaced telephone polls later and the speedo was just creeping over 110 kph. Lionel refrained himself from telling off his older brother. “Right, so could you just run over what you've done mate?” “Wanna bottle of Phoenix?” Lionel handed Darren a bottle. Pink grapefruit. Drunk from the left hand, Darren found that it was possible to knock back a bottle of kinda sparkley Pink grapefruit in five gulps. Chucking the empty bottle over his shoulder, it landed in the bottle graveyard that was the floor behind both front seats. A communal burial pit.

“I hacked the firewall. See, they're running IPCOP. I found that you know, from that leaked email... My program (Lionel had actually built this program) just kept firing requests for an IP address to the firewall, right...” Darren nodded. “To get the IP, she's gotta have the right password, ok. I just went for my own version of the brute-force attack. It not only sniffs packets that the wifi is sending out, it also does some algorithms on the responses to my lappy's requests for IPs. I dunno, anyway, it seemed to work ok.” Lionel put the laptop bag down by his feet and cracked open a bottle of Tui which he pulled from the tiny picinic-box/bar-fridge which was behind his seat. “I'd offer you one, but you know...” Lionel grinned.

“Yeah, so I'm pretty keen, aye – that patch I made for IPCOP did the trick – so now when you login to their firewall, it will accept both passwords, theirs – and my own one which I just made.” “Fantastic”, returned Darren “So what is it?” Lionel didn't say anything. “Oh help, you've gone and blimmin forgotten it aye. You're always forgetting stuff, always losing stuff! Come on, you haven't, have you?” “******” Lionel said...

"I've got their POP, SMTP and HTTP protocols being sent out to us as well..." "Uh-huh, so we can keep a tabs on them – sweet...". Lionel explained how he had masked the mac address of the wireless access point that he had set up the other day, hidden in the loft of the house on the corner. He had made this wireless access point as the bridge between the server in the bad guy's base, and – and the broadband modem/router of the family whose roof was being used without permission, in this all important piece of espionage.

"It's all going through a proxy server in Russia"... "From Russia with love" quipped Darren. "Yes, so we're pretty much completely anonymous – all the activity, including emails, web activity, and all the files on the computer in their network – we've got access to all of them." "But what about that family's broadband? We'll overload it with all the stuff!" Lionel replied, "No, basically what I've set it up to do is, I've instructed the firewall to mirror all IP requests and stuff – and it will just forward that information through the 2 wireless access points, into the database sitting on our server." "MySQL?" Asked Darren. "Yep, way to go aye." - Lionel responded, refraining from telling the old ASP joke which made fun of Microsoft – it would be lost on Darren. "Shouldn't me more than 10 megabytes a day that goes through that families modem aye.... Ah, only thing is, if they're signed up with Xtra, they might have some issues – the cap that Xtra gives you on the $30 plan, it's like 256meg!..."

"Well, it's all for the greater good" Darren replied.

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