HACKING, OPERATING SYSTEMS, AND THE END OF THE WORLD – TOM CURLEY

I watch a lot of television. Probably too much. I’m fond of action shows. I’m really fond of all the various comic book shows.

The single thing these shows have in common is they all have at least one computer genius. A girl or guy geek who’s the best hacker in the business. They always have at least a half-dozen computer monitors in front of them. Each one has 10 or more windows open with lines of data scrolling by at about a hundred miles an hour. They can do anything and everything. Instantly.

falcontradingsystems.com
falcontradingsystems.com

BOSS: I know this is illegal, but I need you to hack into the CIA, NSA and FBI servers. They have the most secure and impenetrable firewalls ever designed. Can you do it?

COMPUTER GENIUS: I was into all three 15 seconds ago, sir.

The ones that work for the FBI can find anything in 10 seconds or less.

FBI BOSS: Our serial killer is male, early thirties, white, and probably living in a two square mile region south of Albany, Georgia. He’s left-handed and likes string cheese. We need to narrow our search …

FBI COMPUTER GENIUS: Found him! His photo, home address and a copy of his permanent High School record have already been sent to your phone.

Not the real bad guy
Not the real bad guy

But this got me to thinking. What would these shows look like if they were happening in the real world?

BOSS OF SUPER SECRET GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION TASKED WITH SAVING THE WORLD FROM SUPER BAD EVIL DOERS:  OK, listen up. You two are the world’s best black hat and white hat hackers. We’ve brought you here because a Super Bad Evil Doer has stolen software that will allow him to access all the world powers’ nuclear codes. He is demanding 1 trillion dollars in ransom or he will launch all the missiles at once and destroy the Earth. You each have a whole bunch of computer screens in front of you with dozens of boxes open scrolling lines and lines of stuff. You have less than 10 minutes to somehow find our Evil Doer and figure out a way to block him from launching those missiles. Can you do it?

HACKER #1: Yes, but we will need to write some specialized software, at least 10 to 20 thousand lines of code.

BOSS: My God!  Can you do it in time???

HACKER #2: Already done sir. Now, all we have to do is upload it to the Evil Doer’s computer. Ready to send in 3, 2 ….

HACKER #1: NO! NO! NO!

HACKER #2: What’s wrong? OH GOD NO! NO! NO!

BOSS: What’s happening?!

HACKER #1: My computer is shutting down!!

HACKER #2: MINE TOO!

BOSS: Are you being hacked? Have your computers been infiltrated by some kind of malicious software? Does the Evil Doer have a genius hacker of his own???

HACKER #1: WORSE! Windows just installed updates! It’s rebooting so the updates can take effect!

windows shut down

BOSS: Can you stop it!??

HACKER #2: It’s too late! Look! It’s already started rebooting and configuring the updates!

windowsupdateinstalling_40853_l

BOSS: There’s nothing you can do???!

HACKER #2: No sir. Look at the screen. It says “Please do not power off or unplug your machine while updates are in progress”!

windows updates 1

BOSS: How long will it take to reboot?

HACKER #1: God only knows! Look! It’s still installing update six of ten! This could take an hour! Even more.

BOSS: We have less than ten minutes before nuclear Armageddon! What are we going to?

HACKER #1: Wait! I’ve got it! I can use my smartphone!

HACKER #2: Yes! We will have to adapt about 15 thousand lines of code but …

HACKER #1: It’s done! OK now, all I have to do is input and send the kill command. “NEUTRALIZE ALL NUCLEAR LAUNCH CODES.” And … done!

BOSS: Thank God!

HACKER #2: Oh NO! You entered “NEUTRALIZE ALL NUCLEAR LUNCH CODES”!!

HACKER #1: What?! Damn you AUTOCORRECT!

autocorrect

BOSS: What do we do now!!

HACKER #2: You know what? Pay the ransom. I’ve had it with Windows. I mean look, it’s still on update 6 of 10! We’re going to be here all day!

HACKER #1: I agree. Pay the money. This is just too much trouble. I’m telling you, ever since my phone updated to iOS 9.0.1, nothing works right.

HACKER #2: Tell me about it.

ios-9-overnight-update

As the two hackers walk off into the sunset discussing whether or not upgrading to Windows 10 would make the situation better or worse, small mushroom clouds appear in the distance.

doodleordie.com
doodleordie.com

Yeah, that’s pretty much how it would happen.

30 thoughts on “HACKING, OPERATING SYSTEMS, AND THE END OF THE WORLD – TOM CURLEY”

          1. No, it isn’t. I was an early adapter – I had several Unix courses and set up my first Linux based web server back around 1996 and i still don’t feel comfortable with it.

            Like

      1. lol, and probably every one of those hackers I was talking about would giggle when you “said” that, and some of them may even reach over and make their bobble-head (G)root nod along with them 😉

        Like

  1. BWAHAHAHHA. Up with Linux. Seriously. I disabled the ‘automatic update’ on my OS (which is 7, until they find me and force me to use 10 or one of the newer ones) and now it has to ask me to update. I refuse. Life goes on. Still. That scenario is probably more real than any of us imagine and well, it’d be good to invest in ‘nuclear fubar’ insurance, wouldn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, 10 now asks too. You can’t say no forever, but you can delay for a very long time. But mostly, unlike 7, the updates are usually brief and not too disruptive — and NOT every week. They always mess up my personal setting for sound, but rarely seem to do anything else. I think most of these are security updates. But — 10 is a better system only when you start from a clean hard drive. No matter WHAT they tell you, you cannot overlay it on top of 7 and have it work properly. So you need to save everything, clean the hard drive, and start from scratch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just don’t want 10 or any newer version. I’ve heard and seen first hand the horror stories from people who thought they had to switch. The amount of bugs and glitches would make me tear my hair out literally I think! :O So until I’m forced, I’m going to use 7. I like it.

        Like

      2. I’ll do it when I’m forced to and not before. Microsoft has pissed me off by getting so chintzy with their software…one now has to buy Word, and it used to come as part of an OS package, along with some really fun games. Now you get the bare bones OS system and everything else is ‘optional’, so you have to buy it. Someone in my church (which gives thrifty new meaning…those ol’ boys are so cheap I think every penny they don’t have to spend is a win in their book) discovered something called Apache Office which is a free version of Word (similar obviously. Pesky copyright laws).

        Like

    2. Probably. The world is so fubar. Did you know they found out a few years ago that all the folks who man the nuclear missle silos realized that the long complex passwords given out to launch the missle was too complicated. So they changed the code to
      00000000. Not kidding. I would have gone with Password1

      Liked by 1 person

  2. MS makes an “UPDATE” now about every 2 weeks. I don’t know what these Updates do? but I DO KNOW that my computer won’t work properly for about 4 days afterwards – whereby it then seems to magically adjust to whatever stupidity they have committed.
    It’s VERY annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.