|The Story||The Authors|
As they lay there recuperating from their aerobic workout Kleg looked around.
"Hey what happened to Omar?" he said.
Vigo perked up glancing right and left. Omar was no where in sight. He felt a sense of panic begin to well in his chest as he was depending on Omar for the next phase of their mission. They heard a muffled scream coming from inside Dr. Phibes' rumpled book bag. The folds of material showed signs of movement. The screaming grew louder and out ran a frantic crying Omar shaking his head and balling like a baby.
Kleg and Vigo ran over to him.
"Omar what happened to you?" asked Kleg.
"Waaahaaaha! I don't know. I was sniffing around, and Waaahaahaa there was this big metal canister and I thought it might be some aerosol cheese so I went up and sniffed at the nozzle and suddenly my nose and eyes started to burn."
Kleg and Vigo looked at each other.
"Did it have a label or any pictures on the side?" asked Vigo.
Omar's crying had begun to subside. Vigo knew that Omar didn't know how to read but he had taught Omar the letters of the alphabet.
"It had a picture of a person being sprayed by the can, and the letters M A C E on it. I was sure it was a yummy treat. sniff sniff."
How to hack MicroSloth TaffyWorks.
Vigo was begining to feel a sense of urgency not knowing when the human would return. Omar had recovered from his sobbing flirtation with tear gas. Luckily Dr. Phibes had thrown her bag near the CRT and keyboard of one of the factory computers so the copy of 2600 lay close to the target of it's contents. Vigo explained to Omar that this next part would be like a game. All he had to do for this next part was remember the letters of the alphabet that Vigo had taught him, and when prompted, jump onto a given letter and then immediately hop off.
"Sounds easy enough", muttered Omar.
Vigo stood on the magazine overlooking the article. Kleg stood close to the keyboard to direct Omar on where to jump. "Ok it says here the first thing we have to is gain access by logging on." Vigo had spent a lot of time hearing people talk about computers and ocassionally he'd watch people from the rafters as they typed. He was fascinated by the machines and had a loose knowledge of how they worked, but had never actually operated one. He wasn't heavy enough to get the keys to compress. Omar was sufficiently hefty however. Vigo hoped that Omar wouldn't pass out after a few keystrokes. "I've heard people talk about this before. It's what could probably be called 'passive social engineering' in hacker lingo. The idea is that most people's usernames are their real names, and most people pick bad paswords that are easy to guess. So let's try logging on as the secratary. Her name's Mary."
The huge computer screen loomed in front of them like a drive in movie theatre.
As Omar sttod on the edge of the keyboard he had become mesmerized by the screen saver of a ball bouncing around on the screen. Kleg directed Omar to jump on the space bar and then hop off. Omar complied and the screen came to life displaying a login prompt. They felt a rush of excitement.
"Ok Omar jump on the letters m a r y, but remember, don't pause on any of them. Just jump on and then jump off. When you're done with the y then go jump on the return key."
"Which letter is that?", asked Omar.
"Oh that's not a letter. It's the big key over here.", explained Kleg. Omar complied and began jumping.
"It worked!" yelled Kleg. "It's asking for a password!"
"Holy swiss! We're in business! Try mary again." smiled Vigo. Omar went to work. He was getting a little tired running around jumping on the keys.
"Uh oh. Denied access."
"Are we almost done?" asked Omar.
Vigo responded, "Well it depends how good we are guessing. It could be short or it could be an eternity, which we don't have."
"Ok think! What would Mary's password be?" Vigo was thinking out loud.
Kleg piped up "I know, try lupo!"
"How do you spell it?" asked Omar, embarassed at having to ask.
"Oh yeah. l u p o.....wait! you have to do mary first!" he said as Omar was aiming to jump on the L. Poor Omar, thought Kleg. He's a good guy, just a little thick in the head, and the midsection.
Welcome to Taffy Systems Inc.
Current directory is c:\
"Muenster! We're in!" yelled Kleg. "Good job Omar."
Omar smiled. It was all coming together. In the interim Vigo had read over the article and confirmed the things he'd heard discussed by the intern earlier. Only now he could see all the details of his plan laid out before him and he knew success was imminent. Vigo explained the next step. "Ok as a regular user we don't have enough priveleges to run the TaffyWorks software in control mode. However, the datatype for the command line arguments is a char so if we start the software with a really long first argument we can cause a buffer overflow which should cause the program to crash, dropping us into a root shell with special access priveleges. And then if we start the program from that shell we can run it with full system priveleges and use it to control the temperature of the salt tank." Vigo was talking very excitedly and it all sounded like gibberish to Omar. To him it sounded like he was watching star trek from underneath the couch in the break room and Commander Data was expounding on and on about tachion beams.