Fredrick's Story

Why I signed up  or how my life turned upside down - You pick

Note: I used to go by the handle ConSpire1, but I can't use that any more... Now it is just F.A.T. Bazt3rd.

The anonymous post on my forum started it all. I was mainly just lurking when the poster Anon13583 asked a curious question:

“Anon13583: Anybody out there know anything about a project REDLIGHT?”

I watched for a bit and no one posted anything. I was beginning to wonder if Anon13583 was just trolling. I had heard a couple of rumors about a MJ12 project based out of Groom Lake. So I posted:

“ConSpire1: Out of Groom Lake?”

A few seconds later Anon13583 responded:

“Anon13583: Go to room815”

Generally, I only go private on the forums with some I know isn’t blowing smoke… But curiosity got the better of me and I was bored. I wasn’t in the chat room 5 seconds when he asked:

“Anon13583: I was hoping you’d be the one to respond. I have been following your posts on this board for quite a while. You always seem to know someone or something important.  Do you know anyone who can break some pretty serious encryption?”

“ConSpire1: What kind?”

“Anon13583: That’s the problem, I don’t know what kind it is, I was surfing around last night and went to a website and there was an unusual symbol tucked away at the bottom of the page on the left hand side. I clicked on it, and it gave a list of files… a list projects I think… I managed to get past the login screen when I tried to open a file… Something flashed across the screen and I thought I saw ‘Majic’ and ‘TOP SECRET’. It seemed like it was a MJ12 document. Then I got booted out. One of the names on the list was ‘REDLIGHT’ and next to it, it said ‘Groom Lake’.”

“ConSpire1: Give me the addy”

“Anon13583:; Just be sure you bounce before going there.  
Scroll all the way to the bottom, and then on the left hand side you will see a small symbol. Right click on the symbol. The username is Target23 and the password is <shift>-F5 then type Tool”

“ConSpire1: No worries… brb”

“ConSpire1: There is definitely something there… but you are going to need some big iron or a lot of time to crack that, probably need to do some work just to download the files.”

“Anon13583: I went back and got the files. I need someone to break them.”

“ConSpire1: Cool. Just send the files to Neo at:

“ConSpire1: The user id Neo and the password is 12&$WilKoSeZ2”

“Anon13583: It is gonna take a while, there are over 3 gigs of data. I am starting the upload now. And thanks for your help… Drop me a post when you figure it out.”

Ok, now I am really curious, just a quick look at the security on that page made me wonder how he cracked that weird login… I need to look into logins using shift-function combinations. AND I must remember to ask more questions… very interesting. I toggle a new window and begin working on bring up Neo… Neo is slow but reliable, cheap and expendable. He will immediately start forwarding the bits as they arrive, taking a very long and circuitous route to get here…

I set up my anonymous proxy relays to mask where the files are going. Never use the same proxy twice in the same week. And only use the ones that flush their routing tables and logs every night. Four anonymous proxies over 3 continents and two sat links….Awesome! Getting AT&T to foot the bill for the Sat links was so much fun. But that is another story for another time…

After all the links were up, I send Neo the wake up command… Hello, Neo. Right on cue, reliable Neo starts forwarding packets. I was about a half hour into moving the data… geez, there must have been closer to 4 gigs of data, when the line died. It happens. It is a pain in the ass, but it happens. I start reconstructing the links back to Neo. All is well until I get to Neo. He’s gone… Odd, but old hardware has the tendency to do just that, die… I am going to have to send Anon13583 a message to resend the files after I get Neo online again.

It was too late and the promise of the data being anything useful was low--It is probably just someone’s idea of joke to wastes a hacker’s time. My guess is that it is a load of fake documents, encrypted to make them look real and give them an air of credibility… after all, who would encrypt fake documents?

So, I blew off going to fix Neo until tomorrow. It will take at least an hour round trip, plus whatever time it takes to swap out Neo and get the system running again. I bring along a replacement box for Neo and swap out the hard drive, as long it didn’t fail.

Couple of errands to run in the morning… load some parts into the van. Ready to rock and roll. Picked up lunch from that little deli on 3rd Street, the one with the hot little Goth chick who works the counter… I can always make her smile…

Everything is normal until I make the turn onto Wilson and there are emergency vehicles everywhere… Looks like a fire… in Neo’s building… There goes Neo… Good bye old friend.

I probably wouldn’t have even noticed them but the black SUV’s driver’s side door opened as I was almost upon it… I had to slam on the breaks to not hit the door. There was more electronics in and on the dash than any car I had ever seen before. Some pretty cool equipment that I wouldn’t mind playing with for a bit… And then the driver got out… clean cut, black suit, white shirt, black tie, black sunglasses, and was obviously carrying a weapon… First guess: NSA. They always look a lot cleaner than FBI or CIA.

He glared at me and yelled at me to move along…

My paranoia sometimes gets the better of me… I was beginning to wonder if this had anything to do with what was in that data… hummm…I had managed to capture about a gigs worth of data before it got cut off… Back to the lair… taking the long way home… I think I have to call Phil at the Daily. He’d know what is going on…

Next stop… payphone…

I hate those phone rotisseries… “Press one… press two… blah, blah, blah” Needless to say, I seldom listen to them… I press *0# and miracle of miracles I hear “Thank you for calling the Daily, how may I direct your call?” I ask to be connected to Phil Brown. A moment later, the phone rings…and goes to voicemail… great… “Hey Phil, what’s up with the fire on Wilson Street today? I happened to be going down it and noticed some government types hanging around… page me.”

Well, that’s it for now… Off to the hole and dinner time…

My pager goes off at 2 AM… geez. I know I am a night owl, but really? 2 AM on a Tuesday? I wipe the sleep from my eyes enough to read the pager… it is Phil. Now I have to find my disposable phone and call Phil back.

“Hey Phil… Could this have waited until a decent hour?” “No…And you better not have had anything to do with that building either,” Phil said. “Geez, I was just driving down the street! Don’t I get any bonus points for giving you a tip?” I said…

Phil was not amused.

It seems that he had spent over 12 hours with the guys in black suits just because he was asking questions. The fire department wasn’t being very helpful either; they just told him it was a gas main explosion. His mistake was that he asked one of the guys in black what they were doing there. “Agent Smith” detained Phil in the back of one of the black SUVs for a while.

While in the SUV, he overheard the guys in black say that they were looking for a computer and were kind of pissed that some guy named ‘Agent Lepus’ took a knee jerk reaction and blew up a building, especially since there were people in the building… He later found out that 6 had died, 3 were badly burned, 1 more in the hospital with a concussion, two broken legs and an arm when the wall fell on her. The body count will probably be 9 by tomorrow. Apparently, she was the ‘lucky’ one.

After Agent Smith finished questioning Phil, he called Phil’s boss. After a brief exchange, Phil heard Agent Smith mention “National Security” and how it would be in everyone’s best interest if certain parts were left out of the official story. He also assured Phil’s boss that when the time was right; his paper would get the exclusive. So for the time being, Phil ‘had’ a story to write about a ‘tragic accident’ where the gas main exploded.

Now I am very curious… and a bit scared. Whoever didn’t want that data out thought nothing of killing 6 people. It’s time for me to go back on line and post a message to Anon13583. He needs to be careful.

I don’t know if ‘they’ were following the board or not, but I can’t be too careful at this point. IF they managed to track down my relays from Neo, nothing is certain.  Time to pull out the black book…  It is my stash of ultra secure and fast proxies that I use once and dump. Using auto-login script and preloading the message files and responders keeps my connection time down. If I keep it under a minute even I would have a very tricky time tracking me down.  I put a few of my favorite tools to thumb drive and off to the ‘local’ internet café 30 minutes away…

The café isn’t too busy. I get a coffee and set up my scripts. 45 seconds… a new record! I run a couple of scripts on the local machine, cleaning up my tracks and I am done. I will get a SMS message Anon13583 on my disposable when he posts. There is nothing to do now but wait.

About 10 minutes after I got back, my phone beeps… It is from Anon13583.

“Dump the files. They are tracking them somehow. OMG I can’t believe they’ve killed her. I am getting out now. Run. Got to get off the grid. I will try to …” And the message ended. 

Another one dead. What the hell! This is getting crazy. Time to burn this phone, in to the vise it goes…. Twelve turns and some very satisfying cracks and crunches later it is really thin. It always amazes me how thin they get. I take a walk two blocks down and into a dumpster it goes… stop by a corner store on the way back and get another disposable phone, paid for in cash… 

Now here is where it pays to be a bit paranoid. Time to activate my tap into the red light cameras and building security cams, I don’t want any surprises.  All alarm systems are up and active – fire, gas, carbon dioxide, motion and intrusion. The building is secure. The hatch and route is clear, all green lights – I ran the sewer route less than a month ago… no lights needed, 15 minutes tops and I am at the back side of Central Park. My off-road bike is well hidden and ready to roll with a full tank of gas. I have enough food in here for a week, if need be. My backpack is loaded with a change of clothes, my spare laptop with spoofed WiMax Card and two fully charged batteries, tool kit, and two days food and water. All ready to go sitting by the hatch. The continuity check on the welding charge is a nice satisfying green lamp that glows. That should buy me enough time to get topside, to my bike and away.

I isolated my internal network on the off chance Anon13583 was right. It is possible could have put a tracker into a file. That would be some pretty sneaky NSA/CIA shit. But killing people… I don’t know. I need to get all of the copied all the bits that I could reconstruct onto a thumb drive there is just over a gig of data…

I moved all of the recovered data to my ‘secure’ thumb drive: 256 bit AES encrypted with a nice little payload for failure. Hey, at least I was nice, you must fail twice before it catches on fire and welds itself to the USB port.

Nothing to do now but wait … I might as well take a look at the files.

Cracking encryption is why I built my Beowulf Cluster. 32 AMD quad cores with a terra byte of ram, 16 terra bytes of Rainbow Tables… all to do my bidding… Granted, it ate a lot of power, filled one entire room and provided all the heat I needed in winter. The summer time in here is a bitch….

It took just over 12 hours for the first document. It looks like a scan of a Top Secret/Majic document. I have seen some of these on the internet before, almost all are fakes.  It mentions a project REDLIGHT and a project PLUTO. Quite a few names mentioned in the report.  Sounded like a gravity experiment gone bad. The last line of report gave me chills:

“It is hoped that a two-man team will prevent or deter the deleterious effects of the Others’ mathematical insights on the human mind.”

What are the ‘Others’ if they are referring to what happens to a ‘human mind’? I have got to tell myself that it must be a fake until Bertha proves otherwise.

Bertha was named after my first real girlfriend. Don’t let her name fool you… she was a petite little preacher’s daughter. I think she finally married a politician and moved to D.C… I met Bertha while I was attending UC Berkley, and that same semester, I found an old Unix server running a room in the back of the basement.  It took me a full semester to finally figure out how to remotely access it. Since then, she has been my secure database/storage facility. I only have access via modem, so I upload small chunks and set Bertha to correlating the data. I had upgraded Bertha before I left Berkley and put a 12 gig drive for storage.

There are thousands of points that can be cross indexed with Bertha: names, places, dates… I have been adding proven info to Bertha for over 10 years now. I will OCR the document, clean up the extraneous marks and upload it to Bertha. After she processes it, the document will get a probability of truth score.

Any document with a 90% probability is added to the database for other documents to be checked out against. By comparing names, places, dates and events, it returns a probability that the document is true. Anything in the 50-89% range is held and tested periodically after new data is added.  Anything less than 50% is held in the ‘Dead Letter’ box.  I may go back and run those later.

3 years ago, I had to upgrade the storage. It is amazing how quickly you can fill a hard drive up. I had to basically break into the facility to do it, but I went back to Berkley and added a storage array to it… Bertha can hold over a terra byte of documents now. With compression, I should be good for quite a while. I also keep some ‘tools’ stored on it as well. Things I don’t want anyone to have or get caught with.

I never call Bertha with my own land line; I patch into the phone system in the building next door and only use the line after midnight and never more than 15 minutes at a time.  I have kept this protocol for over 7 years now.  I upload today, check tomorrow, never get caught…

Another boring day, no internet, nothing happening on the cameras, all of the alarms are green. The Beowulf cluster is still churning away. I think I may need to tweak my algorithm; it seems to be having a hard time on the second file… It is using a different encryption pattern, maybe a double or triple AES variant or an ungodly number of bits… hum… at least it is something to do until midnight.

As midnight rolls around, it is time to check in with Bertha. Ah, the sweet sounds of a modem, squealing and chirping as it negotiates with its partner thousands of miles away. Bertha has news! 98% probability… wow… That has got to be a record.

I was really wondering what it all meant as I logged off and walked past the monitors. They were beeping.  Four black SUVs just blew through a red light a block away from here. No time to get scared-keep your head on straight. Grab the last few essentials. Open the hatch… about the time I grabbed my disposable phone, the first motion sensor went off. Less than a minute late, the intrusion alarm went off. The front door was breached. Shit… There goes the cluster and server…

Down the hatch, a satisfying clang as the door drops and I turn the wheel to lock it in place. Backpack on, 10 paces, push the big red button – (I remembered to close my eyes as the welding charge goes off). I pause for 10 long seconds as I hear: thump, thump, thump, thump, and thump. There goes the cluster… and the main server… The red light on the button dims as the Electro Magnetic Pulse goes off…  Say good bye to your radios and cell phones! I smile a bit as I imagine them screaming and pulling out their earphones that are squealing…

Running down the sewer in the dark is a neat trick… as long as you take your time before hand and make sure your path is clear. Right on time, I see moonlight at the entrance. I stop at the side tunnel and pull out my bike and roll it to the entrance. I don’t want to start it in the tunnel. If they happen to be in the sewer already, I don’t want to give them clues as to ‘how’ I got away.

Nothing like fresh air in your face after running in a sewer… It smells so sweet.

I managed to make the first turn before leaving the park when something hit me. I saw stars, then more stars when I hit the ground… Then the pain started. Then thankfully, the lights went out. The last thing I saw was a big dark shape towering over me…

I wonder if my laptop is OK? 

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