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DECRYPT MY HEART by John McNabb

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  • eris
    replied
    Re: DECRYPT MY HEART by John McNabb

    Originally posted by Nikita View Post
    DECRYPT MY HEART
    by John McNabb

    Lisa thought she felt a small shock in her chest when someone bumped into her on her way out of the Moakley federal courthouse late Friday afternoon. Must be my imagination, she thought, since my ICD, can’t be triggered just from a bump. Lisa, in an instinctive reaction, put her right hand to her temple for a moment.

    Her blood ran cold when she read the text message on her phone: "We have control of your ICD. You will do exactly as we say or we will fatally shock your heart with 800 volts, its maximum output. Expect more instructions later when you get home." Her Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator, which keeps her alive by providing small shocks to her heart when it was about to fibrillate, could now be used to kill her.

    This must be about the trial, Lisa thought, trying to keep her head clear and her emotions in check as she hurried home on the MBTA. She was the lone holdout on a jury in the lawsuit by Quirinus Software, Inc., which was claiming patent rights over key elements of the Linux kernel and the GNU operating system. Federal civil trials required a unanimous verdict, and if she could stick to her guns she could prevent Quirinus from winning their lawsuit.

    Quirinus had gobbled up almost all the big software firms so far, over the past ten years since 2015. Their lawsuit was ridiculous, most of their so-called ‘evidence’ was probably fabricated, Lisa thought, but their power and money could allow them to win the suit and gain control over free software, and of all software someday. Billions of dollars, and more, was at stake.

    She put up her umbrella as she exited Park Street Station into the rain. Thunder boomed as the heavy rain pelted her umbrella and black raincoat. Back in her Beacon Hill apartment, Lisa called Laurence at the Transhuman Defense League on a secure tunneled connection on her VOIP phone. He immediately called her back.

    "Could this be a hoax?" Lisa asked, "I thought ICDs couldn’t be hacked."
    "Hah. Your ICD radio link wasn’t even encrypted. It could be for real," he said. "When you got bumped, someone could have flashed the ICD and reprogrammed it, adding an encryption to lock us out." She followed his instructions to upload the data from the ICD to him at his lab in Somerville.

    After a few minutes, he came back on the line. "We have a serious problem here," he said.. "The data is encrypted, probably with a long symmetrical key. It could take some time to decrypt. Good thing they don’t know about your other implant." Good thing the Court didn’t know about it either, he thought.

    "They just sent me another text with their instructions. I only have until Monday," she said, "when they tell me I have to switch my vote to support the Quirinus lawsuit, or they will kill me. They also say, of course, to not tell anyone else about this, or they will trigger it early." The Judge had given the Jury until end of the day Monday to come to a unanimous verdict, or the jury would be hung, resulting in a mistrial. Quirinus would lose.

    "I’ll get right on it," he said. "If we can’t crack this by Monday you may have to give them what they want. Even though the ICD is designed to be accessed by only a few inches away, but since it broadcasts in the 405 MHz band, they probably can get to it from a much longer distance." Laurence was determined, through, to put all the technical skill and expertise in the League to stop Quirinus. Millions of people across the world now had restorative implants, like Lisa’s ICD, and millions more were getting augmentation implants. There were still many people who could not accept this trend, and he suspected that Quirinus was one of them. They were dangerous, but so was the League, he mused.
    "They must be watching you carefully," he said, "and have analyzed your facial expressions and body language in Court, which is how they determined you were the lone holdout. We know they don’t have any bugs in your apartment or on your computer, since we checked that out, but you should sit tight until the deliberations begin on Monday." They also probably bribed or threatened all the other jurors, he thought, leaving just Lisa to bully.

    Over the next two days Lisa stayed in her apartment, out of the rain, fed her cat, watched some TV, resisted the urge to call Laurence every 10 minutes, and tried to not worry. Laurence’s group takes a dim view of anyone trying to mess with human implants, she thought, so she was sure they would do everything they could to help. She calmed down enough to do some reading, from one of the obscure historical tomes she liked, and one phrase by Oliver Wendell Holmes caught her eye: "The heart of the world beats under the three hills of Boston." Indeed, she thought.

    Just before she had to leave for the courthouse Monday, finally, she got the call. "Almost got it. We hacked into a botnet and have been using the distributed processing power of millions of computers all over the world to crack the encryption. Stall as long as you can, and expect to get a call during your lunch break." The storm had abated, it was going to be a sunny day.

    Lisa stalled during the morning deliberations, still the lone holdout, repeating her arguments to her obstinate fellow jurors. Finally, outside during their lunch break, she got the call. Laurence met her in the courthouse and flashed her ICD, restoring the original programming with their own encryption to eliminate the threat to her life. Lisa sighed in relief.

    "We need to get these bastards. The messages they sent you were dead ends," he said. "Now let’s download the images from your other implants." The League had helped install Lisa’s retinal implant, which could record everything she saw.

    Lisa had triggered the recording right after she felt the bump, so the images they want should still be in the device memory. She hadn’t thought about that at all since Friday, but of course, she did have other things on her mind. She let him download the images, so he could run their facial recognition software on them, and started back to the jury room to cast her final vote.
    I want to read more.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nikita
    started a topic DECRYPT MY HEART by John McNabb

    DECRYPT MY HEART by John McNabb

    DECRYPT MY HEART
    by John McNabb

    Lisa thought she felt a small shock in her chest when someone bumped into her on her way out of the Moakley federal courthouse late Friday afternoon. Must be my imagination, she thought, since my ICD, can’t be triggered just from a bump. Lisa, in an instinctive reaction, put her right hand to her temple for a moment.

    Her blood ran cold when she read the text message on her phone: "We have control of your ICD. You will do exactly as we say or we will fatally shock your heart with 800 volts, its maximum output. Expect more instructions later when you get home." Her Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator, which keeps her alive by providing small shocks to her heart when it was about to fibrillate, could now be used to kill her.

    This must be about the trial, Lisa thought, trying to keep her head clear and her emotions in check as she hurried home on the MBTA. She was the lone holdout on a jury in the lawsuit by Quirinus Software, Inc., which was claiming patent rights over key elements of the Linux kernel and the GNU operating system. Federal civil trials required a unanimous verdict, and if she could stick to her guns she could prevent Quirinus from winning their lawsuit.

    Quirinus had gobbled up almost all the big software firms so far, over the past ten years since 2015. Their lawsuit was ridiculous, most of their so-called ‘evidence’ was probably fabricated, Lisa thought, but their power and money could allow them to win the suit and gain control over free software, and of all software someday. Billions of dollars, and more, was at stake.

    She put up her umbrella as she exited Park Street Station into the rain. Thunder boomed as the heavy rain pelted her umbrella and black raincoat. Back in her Beacon Hill apartment, Lisa called Laurence at the Transhuman Defense League on a secure tunneled connection on her VOIP phone. He immediately called her back.

    "Could this be a hoax?" Lisa asked, "I thought ICDs couldn’t be hacked."
    "Hah. Your ICD radio link wasn’t even encrypted. It could be for real," he said. "When you got bumped, someone could have flashed the ICD and reprogrammed it, adding an encryption to lock us out." She followed his instructions to upload the data from the ICD to him at his lab in Somerville.

    After a few minutes, he came back on the line. "We have a serious problem here," he said.. "The data is encrypted, probably with a long symmetrical key. It could take some time to decrypt. Good thing they don’t know about your other implant." Good thing the Court didn’t know about it either, he thought.

    "They just sent me another text with their instructions. I only have until Monday," she said, "when they tell me I have to switch my vote to support the Quirinus lawsuit, or they will kill me. They also say, of course, to not tell anyone else about this, or they will trigger it early." The Judge had given the Jury until end of the day Monday to come to a unanimous verdict, or the jury would be hung, resulting in a mistrial. Quirinus would lose.

    "I’ll get right on it," he said. "If we can’t crack this by Monday you may have to give them what they want. Even though the ICD is designed to be accessed by only a few inches away, but since it broadcasts in the 405 MHz band, they probably can get to it from a much longer distance." Laurence was determined, through, to put all the technical skill and expertise in the League to stop Quirinus. Millions of people across the world now had restorative implants, like Lisa’s ICD, and millions more were getting augmentation implants. There were still many people who could not accept this trend, and he suspected that Quirinus was one of them. They were dangerous, but so was the League, he mused.
    "They must be watching you carefully," he said, "and have analyzed your facial expressions and body language in Court, which is how they determined you were the lone holdout. We know they don’t have any bugs in your apartment or on your computer, since we checked that out, but you should sit tight until the deliberations begin on Monday." They also probably bribed or threatened all the other jurors, he thought, leaving just Lisa to bully.

    Over the next two days Lisa stayed in her apartment, out of the rain, fed her cat, watched some TV, resisted the urge to call Laurence every 10 minutes, and tried to not worry. Laurence’s group takes a dim view of anyone trying to mess with human implants, she thought, so she was sure they would do everything they could to help. She calmed down enough to do some reading, from one of the obscure historical tomes she liked, and one phrase by Oliver Wendell Holmes caught her eye: "The heart of the world beats under the three hills of Boston." Indeed, she thought.

    Just before she had to leave for the courthouse Monday, finally, she got the call. "Almost got it. We hacked into a botnet and have been using the distributed processing power of millions of computers all over the world to crack the encryption. Stall as long as you can, and expect to get a call during your lunch break." The storm had abated, it was going to be a sunny day.

    Lisa stalled during the morning deliberations, still the lone holdout, repeating her arguments to her obstinate fellow jurors. Finally, outside during their lunch break, she got the call. Laurence met her in the courthouse and flashed her ICD, restoring the original programming with their own encryption to eliminate the threat to her life. Lisa sighed in relief.

    "We need to get these bastards. The messages they sent you were dead ends," he said. "Now let’s download the images from your other implants." The League had helped install Lisa’s retinal implant, which could record everything she saw.

    Lisa had triggered the recording right after she felt the bump, so the images they want should still be in the device memory. She hadn’t thought about that at all since Friday, but of course, she did have other things on her mind. She let him download the images, so he could run their facial recognition software on them, and started back to the jury room to cast her final vote.
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