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It's amazing what people will fall for

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Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Episode 17

>SQUEAK<

...

"Impressive," our recent ex-new-Boss says nervously, edging towards the back of the room. "How did you... find us?"

"Simple," the PFY says, entering from the door behind him, cattleprod in hand. "One of the laptops you took wasn't exactly what it looked like."

"Bitlocker?" the ex-new-technician asks, halting his in-tandem retreat along with the ex-Boss.

"No," I respond, fingering my own modded prod. "The machine had built in wireless and GPS and used scripted netstumbler to peer with any access points it could find and report its location."

"Really?" the ex-boss asks.

"Nah, the PFY lifted your wallet the day you started and stole your credit card details and personal information. We followed you here from your home."

"Ah," the ex-Boss says. "Which was why I found my wallet on the floor behind my desk last week."

"Indeed. Why steal a wallet when the cards would be deactivated within the day? No, it's far better that you feel you mislaid it for a moment and give us the opportunity to order a month's worth of crap to be delivered to your home."

"Crap?"

"Gym gear, PC games, porn, and diet products."

"Ah," the ex-Boss says knowingly. "All stuff which is very hard to return..."

"And you might have made donations to a number of internet based organisations with anti-democratic viewpoints – so I wouldn't do any flying in the near future."

"Either of you," the PFY says nodding at the ex-technician. "Those messages you were posting about Western infidels are almost certainly being read by anonymous men in a grey building somewhere in the city..."

"Which is why returning home is probably not your best option," I add.

"Not with the three sacks of fertiliser under your stairwell anyway..." the PFY adds.

"I..."

"Have our equipment and are only too willing to give it back to avoid a nasty incident?" the PFY asks.

"Yes?" the ex-technician suggests.

"And compensate us for our time with a couple of hundred quid?" the PFY adds.

"Fifty," the ex-Boss says.

"Each," the PFY counters.

"Done!"

And a deal is struck. Being consummate professionals they know a lost cause when they see it. Moments later the PFY and I have keys to a North London lockup, a little cash, and an agreement that the company will have learned some valuable lessons from the incident.

"So how did you manage to get the gear out so quickly?" the PFY asks as we have a post-truce pint with the ex-Boss and ex-tech.

"We got some magnetic signs made for a fake PC repair company then slapped them on a rental van," the ex-tech explains.

"Then we got a couple of lab coats, a clipboard, and started loading up gear. Amazing what people will fall for."

"And security didn't say anything?" the PFY asks.

"Nothing apart from 'this is heavy'."

"You used security to help steal stuff from the company?" I sigh.

"Oh yes, they were most helpful."

"Ah well, I suppose the company will learn something from this..." I say.

"Although not much," the PFY adds.

"No?" our ex-Boss asks.

"No, the current brainwave of the head of IT is to fit out our Madrid office with kit that we configure here - network, desktop and server - and just talk them through the install on the phone!" the PFY snaps.

"Really? Much kit?" our ex-Boss asks eagerly.

"A bit - but don't even think about it - it's being shipped privately. It SEEMS that the CEO's bought a villa in Spain and is going to get the company to pay for his shipping container by putting the computing gear in with his stuff."

"Sounds like someone needs to be taught a lesson..." our ex-tech says.

"You mean..." our ex-Boss asks.

"Uh-huh. We could rent a van full of empty computer boxes that need to be put into the container at the last minute."

"50/50 on the proceeds?" the PFY asks.

...Late the next night at the Cargo terminal...

"They must employ the same security staff as we do!" the PFY gasps. "I mean who's going to believe we're Rabies inspectors!"

"What was the container number?" the ex-Boss asks nervously, knowing we've got a fairly small window to do this in.

"Here," I said, handing over a shipping receipt.

"Okay... " he responds, driving slowly past rows of containers waiting to be loaded. "... BINGO - and it's at ground level!"

>Creak< >Clank< >Groaaaan<

"That's odd," the ex-Boss says. "There's computing boxes here but the furniture's complete crap."

"Well you guys go in and grab the stuff while the PFY and I grab the 'replacement' kit," I say.

"Okay... hang on, these are just empty b..." >GROAN SLAM!< >CLANK<

"Amazing what people will fall for," the PFY says, shaking his head and screwing up the shipping receipt.

"Still, a holiday in Spain can't be all bad," I say.

"True," the PFY says. "And I made sure to put the sacks of fertiliser next to the torch - so they know what to expect when we dob them in to the Coast Guard..."

"Okay then," I say. "We're about done. But before you return their van to the hire company..."

"Yes, I know," the PFY sighs. "Back into a solid object a couple of times, use up all the gas and wait outside a kebab place until someone's sick on the passenger seat."

As they say, vengeance is a pre-digested meal best served on pseudo leather...

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