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   complete confidence of its customers. The corporation would lose a lot

   of face if news of Force's discovery got out. It might care enough to

   really come after him. Then, with the sudden clarity of the lightning

   strike photo which hung on his wall, a single thought filled his mind.


   I am playing with fire.


                            [ ]


   `Where did you get those numbers?' Par asked Force next time they were

   both on Altos.


   Force hedged. Par leaped forward.


   `I checked those numbers for you. They're valid,' he told Force. The

   American was more than intrigued. He wanted that network address. It

   was lust. Next stop, mystery machine. `So, what's the address?'


   That was the one question Force didn't want to hear. He and Par had a

   good relationship, sharing information comfortably if occasionally.

   But that relationship only went so far. For all he knew, Par might

   have a less than desirable use for the information. Force didn't know

   if Par carded, but he felt sure Par had friends who might be into it.

   So Force refused to tell Par where to find the mystery machine.


   Par wasn't going to give up all that easily. Not that he would use the

   cards for free cash, but, hey, the mystery machine seemed like a very

   cool place to check out. There would be no peace for Force until Par

   got what he wanted. Nothing is so tempting to a hacker as the faintest

   whiff of information about a system he wants, and Par hounded Force

   until the Australian hacker relented just a bit.


   Finally Force told Par roughly where DEFCON had been scanning for

   addresses when it stumbled upon the CitiSaudi machine. Force wasn't

   handing over the street address, just the name of the suburb. DEFCON

   had been accessing the Citibank network through Telenet, a large

   American data network using X.25 communications protocols. The

   sub-prefixes for the Citibank portion of the network were 223 and 224.


   Par pestered Force some more for the rest of the numbers, but the

   Australian had dug his heels in. Force was too careful a player, too

   fastidious a hacker, to allow himself to get mixed up in the things

   Par might get up to.


   OK, thought the seventeen-year-old Par, I can do this without you. Par

   estimated there were 20000 possible addresses on that network, any one

   of which might be the home of the mystery machine. But he assumed the

   machine would be in the low end of the network, since the lower

   numbers were usually used first and the higher numbers were generally

   saved for other, special network functions. His assumptions narrowed

   the likely search field to about 2000 possible addresses.


   Par began hand-scanning on the Citibank Global Telecommunications

   Network (GTN) looking for the mystery machine. Using his knowledge of

   the X.25 network, he picked a number to start with. He typed 22301,

   22302, 22303. On and on, heading toward 22310000. Hour after hour,

   slowly, laboriously, working his way through all the options, Par

   scanned out a piece, or a range, within the network. When he got bored

   with the 223 prefix, he tried out the 224 one for a bit of variety.