www #17 – Padlock – Text #3

Future Unlocking

By Garry Vakarian

The Agency’s target was Tony Cabalero. Caucasian male, age 42, and more importantly head of the science division of Genetek Inc. The man himself was irrelevant but what was in him made him invaluable. Indeed in order to keep track of his branch’s latest researches, he was the only one authorized to upload them from the company’s mainframe into his cyberbrain. All other employees with access to them had to wipe the data from their memory every time they exited the lab. And since the mainframe of Genetek was hidden deep into a vault inside the company’s headquarter, direct access was impossible.

So Cabalero’s cyberbrain was the easiest way to gather all of Genetek’s precious secrets. After acquiring this information, the Agency devised a plan to have one of its female operative seduce him, stealthily connect her Cbrain to his and hack the data out.

One of the Agency’s associate created an opportunity for the hacker to meet her victim, usually a fake chance encounter with a grateful escort girl or a business meeting with a bogus promiscuous sales rep. Either way, the hacker had to approach him close enough to physically connect her cyberbrain docking cable to the external neural plug located on his neck.

After the easy part of connecting the hardware (cabling both Cbrains) the real stuff began. She had to break into Cabalero’s mind without him noticing, not even unconsciously (when someone’s Cyberbrain was accessed without his consent, he went into blacked-out mode, a protective coma to isolate his mind from the intrusion).

The next step after avoiding intrusion alarms was to break into the target’s mind to find the information needed. In order to do that, a hacker had to navigate different layers of the Cbrain’s memory linked with locked portals. Like any physical gates, gaining further access required opening them, and finding the key to their padlocks. First were cryptolocks or e-locks, coded by the Cyberbrain’s software. These locks depended on the complexity of the cryptographic programming installed in the Cbrain and the hacker’s hacking suite.

Once the multiple e-locks were dealt with, the hacking thief then had to break psychlocks. These kinds of padlocks were the last line of the victim’s defense and how its own psych resisted the hack. This was the layer that defined true hackers from amateurs. It was easy to buy hacking software on the black market; it was another to breach into someone’s mind.

In this day and age, hackers were mostly thieves like our Agency’s call girl/sales rep wannabe, but very few were classified as masterminds – or MMs. MMs were able to break their target’s spirit and take control of them, like a puppeteer. Those were the most dangerous hackers and were very sought after in the criminal world. Sadly for criminal organizations, masterminds were also for the most part psychopaths, taking pleasure in controlling and dooming people to do their bidding – planting themselves as gods – or making them passengers of their own bodies en route to kill themselves in various fashions.

In a way, the arrival of cyberbrains changed the way crime was perpetrated until the 21st century. 90% of crimes were cyber-related, from theft to murder (overloading or virusing Cbrains were the most common form of homicide) including white collar offense or espionage – as in this case.

The end of the story? GPolice archives indicated Mr. Cabalero was indeed hacked by an unknown woman but the company refused to tell what was compromised and three months later, Advent Industries launched a hostile takeover on Genetek. Now Genetek is known as Advent Droïd Labs…


2 thoughts on “www #17 – Padlock – Text #3

  1. I am a giant fan of your stories, Garry! Wow! This imagination of yours is impressive. It amazes me how you create a whole universe in a few paragraphs. You manage to include references to our world – hostile take overs – and incorporate them to the point of blending into your futuristic prose.


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