Logic of Thoughts Part 2: Before Nancy could complete her encrypted message, she received a message back. The computer person said, “my name is Cloudburst. I work for many intelligence agencies from different countries around the world. I thought I would mess with you a little bit. I’m sorry if I frightened you,” Nancy thought to herself. This is pretty damn freaky. Nancy was not that experienced as a researcher for the government. She had heard that there were people like this out there on the Internet, especially on the dark web. She really did not know what to do next.
Beginning of part 2. Nancy decided she would ask Cloudburst where he was located. “So now that you hacked into my computer life tell me where you are? While Nancy was typing in this question. The response came back before she even finished the sentence. Cloudburst promptly said, “I currently live in Turkey, although I move around a lot and have lived in many countries around the world.” His next message to Nancy was, “I don’t normally do what I was doing to you. It was more of a game for me.” Nancy replied, “I’m doing serious work, and I certainly don’t need people like you interrupting me and, more importantly, scaring the hell out of me.” Cloudburst replied to Nancy, “then stay the hell out of the dark web, your way in over your head, and you’re lucky, I only played a game with you. I could’ve completely trashed your computer and all of the work on it.”
Nancy decided to back away from this conversation, knowing that the guy on the other end was serious and probably more than capable of delivering on his threat.
All of a sudden, Nancy lost control of her computer, and it wasn’t coming from Cloudburst. She was receiving messages that showed up right in the center of her screen announcing that the top security agency for the United States was taking control of her computer. While that was happening, her phone rang. Nancy was reluctant to answer the call. The identity was definitely from the US government. At this point, she did not know if this was more of Cloudburst’s devilishness. But she figured, “what I have to lose.”
Nancy, while looking at her screen being controlled by the federal government, at least that’s what she thought. Saw a message telling her to answer the phone. It sounded highly official. Answering the phone, Nancy said in a cautious voice, “hello?”
The voice on the other end identified themselves as being from a particular agency for the federal government that I am not allowed to name in this story. But trust me, it was coming from an agency formed to protect the United States and other nations from getting hacked by rogue and unethical hackers.
The person on the phone identified himself as Bill, with no title or anything else suggesting he was a government official. But he proceeded to tell Nancy the following. “Nancy, by some strange set of circumstances, you are connected to your government’s most sought-after criminal hacker. He has done irreparable damage to the security of the United States along with several other countries. We have been tracking him for nearly a year.”
Nancy wasn’t sure if she should believe him or not. After all, Cloudburst told her that he worked with various government agencies around the world. But by now, her computer was not responding to any of her commands. She wasn’t exactly sure if it was the US government agency taking total control or it was more of Cloudburst’s malicious hacking.
Bill, the government agent, told Nancy to stay on the phone with him. He said, “we will be controlling your computer from here on out. We want you to leave the room but stay on the phone. Please do exactly what I tell you to do. If we apprehend Cloudburst, and I can assure you, we will! There will be a substantial reward for you.”
At this point, Nancy just wanted this all to end. Within an hour, the agent told her that Cloudburst had been arrested. In fact, he said without going into too much detail, “that several other country’s governments sent their agents to the location he was operating from. And he was now sitting in a prison cell. He will be extradited to the United States and be thoroughly interrogated. Cloudburst will spend many years in prison.”
Nancy told Bill, “I can’t believe this all happened to me, and I can’t believe that you were able to apprehend him so quickly.” Bill said, “Nancy, I understand, but I can share this with you. You were deliberately put in this position by your employer. This has been in the works for a few months. You were given a research assignment that we knew would create a path where you would have to go into the dark web to find the answers. Your research efforts were being shadowed by us. We set it up so you unknowingly would provide clues as bait that we knew Cloudburst would take, and thankfully he did.”
“What next for me, Bill, now that this is over?” Bill became less official on the phone and told Nancy, “you’re going to be promoted by your company. You also will be visited by a recruiter from the federal government. They will interview you to see if you would like to work for one of the agencies that hunts down disruptive hackers worldwide. Oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention that you are going to receive a very substantial reward for your cooperation in making this arrest possible.” Nancy responded to Bill in an almost flirtatious voice by saying, “you’re kidding me. I was participating as an un-informed and, maybe if I knew, an unwilling participant. I’m certainly glad it all worked out for the good. But I wish I would’ve known, and maybe I would not have been so frightened.” Bill replied, “it would’ve taken quite a bit of training to get you to handle it as naturally and as normally as you did. We just did not have that luxury, but your employer assured us that you would be totally cooperative once it was all over, and I believe he was right.”
Needless to say, Nancy was overjoyed by the prospects of where her career may take her, and the financial reward was just the icing on the cake.
This process of apprehending hackers that are hell-bent on destroying people’s lives is ongoing, and who knows, maybe someday you will be part of the process of bringing down one of these scummy jerks. Logic of thoughts is what is principally required.
Stay safe whenever you connect to the virtual world. You are most likely are being watched and listened to by not only the bad guys but assuredly by the presumably good guys.
“I hit send, and my message traveled at the speed of light and touched a virtual universe of unknown proportions that left me un-shielded and exposed.”