Chapter 20 Page 8 of 8

Of course! He must have gotten in. So fast? We hadn’t even dismantled any of our firewall defenses yet. We both ran back over to my primary machine.

“Do a `ps’,” I said. “Find out which TTY he’s using.”

Lisa had already typed in the `what’ command before I had said this, and the output was now on the screen. The only user runnning `tar’ was `root’. Lisa and I both laughed.

“It’s him all right!” exclaimed Lisa. “Where is he putting the files? Do you think he has he gotten any of them off the tape yet?”

As she asked this she ran the `ps’ command with various command line switches so as to get a full read-out of the `tar’ command that Lorenzo was running. The files were being dumped into `/tmp/mmp’. We also saw that Lorenzo was using ftp to move them back to the NSA.

My head began to swim. I didn’t have ftp on my machine! Yet there it was, already running. Lorenzo must have down-loaded a version from the NSA and compiled it on my machine. Lisa was checking some of the Internet packets going through the router. She announced that the new BIF files were already being ferried off our machine and were bound for the Internet.

I was flabbergasted. In the space of less than five minutes Lorenzo had managed to break through my firewall, compile and install his own version of an ftp server, pull the files off the tape, and begin sending them to the NSA. It was at that moment that I learned to never underestimate the capabilities of the NSA. These guys operate in a whole different league.

Lisa turned, saw the expression on my face, and burst out laughing. Her laughter became almost hysterical as she put her hands on her stomach and leaned back in her chair. “That’s some firewall you have there Carl,” she said after she had caught her breath.

Already the tape drive had stopped. Another `ps’ revealed that the ftp transfer had stopped as well. Moments later we saw that root had logged out; Lorenzo had what he wanted.

The phone rang. It was Lorenzo.

“I’ve got somebody installing the patches now,” he said. “There has been a change of plans. Fisk wants you back at the FBI offices. He said something about a contingency plan. You two should head back immediately. I’ll get in touch with you there.”

We wasted no time in following this suggestion. This time Lisa kept the car on the street, but that seemed to be the only constraint she was operating under in her effort to minimize travel time.

When we reached Jonny’s office he was still on the phone. He cupped his hand over the mouthpiece and quickly brought us up to date. The translation service was still running. The President, the Chairman of the Fed, and the Secretary of Treasury, had all been briefed. Danial had prepared the machines for rapid shutdown; all he needed was voice confirmation from the Fed Chairman. FBI agents were on alert in every major city in the US. Friendly foreign intelligence agencies had also been informed to stand by. Meanwhile, the Key Distribution service (as opposed to the Key Translation service) had already been disabled. All banks had been notified not to even attempt to use the distribution center. This meant that the millwright could still collect keys from the translation center but couldn’t distribute his keys by impersonating the distribution center. Of course this also meant we had tipped our hand to an even greater extent.

A second phone rang on the other end of Jonny’s desk. It was Lorenzo, asking for Lisa. She took the phone as both Tony and I looked on. Other than noticing that her jaw was tightly clenched and that her eyes burned with fierce intensity, I could not read her expression. Was it good news or bad? Had they succeeded in installing the patches? Did the new program run without dumping core?

“You should run it with the -v2 option,” Lisa said. Good, it sounds like they have it properly installed and are ready to start running it. With the computing power of the NSA it shouldn’t take long to execute. I was a little puzzled that Lisa recommended the v2 option though. Wouldn’t it be better to run it without the slower rules first? Better to get a rough result quickly than to take the extra cpu-time to try to pinpoint the culprit.

“I wouldn’t,” Lisa replied to some question from the other end of the line. “Really? Ha!”

This was getting frustrating. I was just about to ask Jonny if there was another extension we could listen in on when Lisa hung up. She turned to us and announced that they had found the millwright! “And,” she continued with delight, “the millwright is a `she’ not a `he’.”

“They’ve already arrested her?” Jonny asked, taking no time to adjust to the new pronoun.

“Not yet, but the FBI has been instructed to make the arrest. Her name is Susan Ignassi. She works for an Oakland branch of Fourth Nationwide Bank of California. The FBI already has a signed warrant; her arrest is immenent.”