January 21st, 2004
|jimbojones||05:30 pm - IANABH|
Being in the business that I am, and being pretty good at it, I often get asked about systems I've "hacked", accounts I've broken into, stuff like that. The fact is, though, that's all black-hat shit, and I play the other side of the game - I'm a white-hat. I keep the bad guys *out*, I don't want to be one myself - I do the occasional bit of password-breaking or whatnot, but it's always the "the company forgot the password they used" sort of thing, not the "omfg I'm gonna steal a shell account" kind of thing. Being a black-hat has just always gone deeply against my own personal inclination and ethics... except once.
Once upon a time when I was in the Navy, I had to be transferred out of the shop I was working in. You see, the man who ran that shop - henceforth to be referred to as Senior Chief Assclown - was the most incredible asshole ever to disgrace the face of the planet. He was so horrible that one day, I confided to another petty officer that if Assclown fucked with me one more time, I would put his face in the cutting table. I said this with a note of quiet conviction that apparently rang some serious alarm bells, because two days later, the command transferred me to another shop clear across the boat. Officially, this was for "administrative purposes", but when I asked the master chief who ran the division if there was "any particular reason" I'd gotten the transfer, he gave me That Look and said "oh... no reason." Yeah, they knew what was up.
After leaving Senior Chief Assclown's shop, I wound up in a position of unofficially supporting damn near every PC (286, MS-DOS era) on board the boat - and it was a BIG boat, at the time overmanned to about a 1500-person crew. Six months or so later, I wound up getting married to a girl on the same boat - and you can't have a married couple on board the same ship, or at least you couldn't then, so somebody had to get transferred off the boat. As luck would have it, that turned out to be me... and about three months or so before I was scheduled to transfer off the boat, Senior Chief Assclown's shop called me up requesting computer assistance.
I knew what I had to do.
Back in those days, there was a very popular program called "Point & Shoot" that a lot of people liked to run when their computer started up. It was basically just a simple menu interface that let you call up programs by pressing a single key, instead of having to type out an MS-DOS command - just an ASCII plain text menu, in color, but no graphics, no biggie. But it did have one other feature - after 30 minutes with no activity, it would run its built-in "screensaver" and display a 320x200 GIF or JPEG in full screen mode until someone pressed a key.
This was also the era that "skank pr0n" first became a collector's obsession... but one rare enough that it was still pretty easy to drop people's jaw, since you had to find it on random shady-ass BBS'es and shit. At the time, my prize possession was a full-color 320x200 (full-screen, for the time period) GIF... an extreme, in-your-face closeup of the biggest, fattest, most-yucky-colored-without-being-actually-diseased gaping vagina that you are ever likely to see. Totally tame by modern standards - but believe me, back then, this thing packed enough of a wallop that sailors would literally FALL OUT OF THEIR CHAIRS if it popped onto the screen in front of them.
One final note about the era - this was ALSO immediately after the Tailhook scandal. If you don't remember Tailhook, it was the biggest sexual harassment scandal the military has EVER seen, it happened in the Navy, and it directly resulted in several years of witchhunts looking for someone, ANYone, that could serve as a male scapegoat to show that the Navy was doing its best to perteck the wimmens. It was truly a horrible time to be male and active duty military - just looking at a female sailor was generally enough to land you in serious hot water; god help you if you actually pissed one off.
Which leads us back to the story... I'm due to leave the boat in just under three months, the biggest assface on the fucking planet has a computer that needs fixing, and I... I'm feeling some fucking testosterone starting to circulate. Oh yeah.
I tell the shop that I'll be down there in about an hour, and sit down at my computer on a fucking mission. I needed to get some batch programming done, and I needed to get it done FAST, perfectly, and sitting on a single floppy disk ready to go - I need to get it installed with one swift "copy" command, no lingering, no fine tuning, it has to get on there IMMEDIATELY and work right the first time.
So I write this batch file to check the system date versus a stored constant, and exit quietly if the system date hasn't reached the stored constant yet... but if it HAS reached the stored constant, the payload hits: it copies the horrible nasty gaping cunt over the normal screensaver picture, fux0rs the datestamp of the screensaver GIF to reflect a date three weeks in the past, patches the system's autoexec.bat to NOT attempt to call this batch file anymore, fuxors THAT datestamp back to what it was originally, and finally deletes and purges the batch file itself as well as the original copy of the horrible nasty GIF.
Net effect: after the target date, the next time somebody leaves the computer on the Point & Shoot menu for more than a half hour without touching it (which itself could take a week or more to happen), it's going to display this horrible drooling gaping THING of a nightmare vagina, larger than life and in full color, and forensics will show that the image has been the screensaver for the last three weeks, with no evidence whatsoever to find that points to anything different.
I set the date for four months after I was due to leave the boat - a total of seven months in the future.
And I told no one. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE.
About eight months later, I got a call from an old sea-dog that I used to work with over on the boat. He asked me, with obvious but uber-cautious amusement in his voice, if I knew anything about anything that might have happened in Assclown's shop that week. I kept my poker voice on, and said no, why? Well, Senior Chief Assclown is mad as hell and he's trying to get you brought up on charges. For what? I ask, obviously baffled.
My old sea-dog buddy slowly explains precisely what had happened, while I expressed my rollicking amusement but continued pretending my innocence and unawareness. The best part: it turns out that when the dreaded orifice finally made its maiden (hah) appearance, it was in front of the Executive Officer AND the brand-new, first-week-on-the-boat FEMALE supply officer. Ohhhhhhh, boy.
My buddy said several times that Senior Chief Assclown KNEW it was me, and I reiterated several times that I hadn't even set foot on the boat in four months. My buddy said come on, I still could have done it. I retorted that there was no way to do anything like that without access to the computer. Well, my buddy had no fucking idea HOW I could have done it, but clearly he believed that I HAD to have done it, and he had obviously never really considered any other possibility for a second. I'm sure Senior Chief Assclown felt exactly the same way... but in spite of his ravening and obsessive hatred, I never did hear a single word about that from my old command, or through any official channel.
I never told ANYONE that story until about three years after I left the Navy.
Current Mood: nostalgic
Current Music: Village People - In The Navy