[Story] It's a small world
It's not exactly a WTF moment, but it's IMHO funny enough that I decided to post it here.
It was a lazy Saturday morning in Placeholdertown. A small part of its approximately one million inhabitants was working, at shops, driving public transport, and so on. Most of them, including students from Placeholdertown universities, were lazily waking up and starting their day.
Bob was a professor in one of these universities and had a server for his lab's purposes. Given that the server was sitting idly during the weekends, he agreed to let his daughter Alice use the server for her school assignment, provided that he'd be monitoring her to make sure she didn't accidentally mess up.
Alice soon noticed some weird processes with funky names running as user
wendyand taking up a big part of the server's CPU. They should have just started, because the server was behaving normally when she first logged in. She asked Bob about them and Bob concluded that it was the work of a malicious entity. They killed these processes, terminated the session of the offending user and changed her password. However, Bob was convinced that his student Wendy wouldn't actively try to hijack the server, so he looked up her number and picked up his phone.
- Good morning Wendy. This is Bob. I have a question for you.
- Good morning, professor. Is there a problem?
- I need you to tell me if you have given your password for our lab server to any third parties.
- I... uh... I'm sorry, professor...
- Please tell me the full name of that person.
- ... yes... it's Mallory McMalloryface.
- OK, thank you for telling me. Your password has been changed, come to me on Monday so we can discuss this.
In the meantime, Alice was looking at the logs and noticed that the attacker was using Wendy's account under a very familiar hostname. It was the internet café right next door, where she'd often go to play multiplayer games with her classmates. In a city of one million, that person was literally next door. She informed Bob and they decided that the internet café's owners would probably like to know that there was a malicious intruder among their customers.
Two minutes later, Alice was at the internet café, speaking with the employee on duty, whose face she knew. It was still fairly empty, save from two or three customers. Most kids usually showed up later on.
- Good morning. Do you have a customer called Mallory McMalloryface right now?
- Good morning... no, there's not such a customer here at this moment.
- Oh I see... Maybe the customer was here earlier on?
- Nope... I've been here since we opened this morning, I didn't register such a name...
- I see. This person was just trying to hijack a server at my dad's university from your IP address. Maybe you want to check your logs and server security?
- OK, I'll do that. Thanks!
Alice left and started going home, thinking that something in that interaction didn't sound quite right. The employee was always sounding a bit hesitating and avoided eye contact. If there was indeed an intruder among their customers, or somewhere outside hacking their network, Alice would expect the employee to sound more alarmed and ask for more information. Instead, he wanted to let her go as quickly as possible. Eventually, Alice had an epiphany. She unlocked her front door and triumphantly spoke to her dad.
"Hi dad, I apparently just spoke to Mallory! It was the employee, not a customer. He apparently started hacking our server, then we killed the processes, locked him out, and not even five minutes later we were out there knowing his real name and location!"
Bob smirked, congratulated her for her cooperation, and thought he'd teach Wendy a lesson on Monday morninng.
PS: True story bro.
Moral of the story: Alice jumps to conclusions.
@Gurth at least it wasn't our Alice, she'd jellypotato to conclusions, and Boole knows how that would end...
and Boole knows how that would end...
Well, there's only