Page 141


Undergound. Go to Table of Contents.

   Electron got on the phone to Phoenix. They had long since stopped

   caring about what time of day they rang each other. 10 p.m. 2 a.m.

   4.15 a.m. 6.45 a.m.

  

   `Yeah.' Electron greeted Phoenix in the usual way.

  

   `Yup,' Phoenix responded.

  

   Electron told Phoenix what happened and gave him the two accounts at

   Melbourne University where he had mailed the Zardoz bundle.

  

   Phoenix hung up and rang back a few minutes later. Both accounts were

   dead. Someone from Melbourne University had gone in and changed the

   passwords within 30 minutes of Electron being booted off the CSIRO

   computer. Both hackers were disturbed by the implications of this

   event. It meant someone--in fact probably several people--were onto

   them. But their desperation to get Zardoz overcame their fear.

  

   Electron had one more account on the CSIRO computer. He didn't want to

   give it to Phoenix, but he didn't have a choice. Still, the whole

   venture was filled with uncertainty. Who knew if the Zardoz bundle was

   still there? Surely an admin who bothered to kick Electron out would

   move Zardoz to somewhere inaccessible. There was, however, a single

   chance.

  

   When Electron read off the password and username, he told Phoenix to

   copy the Zardoz bundle to a few other machines on the Internet instead

   of trying to download it to his own computer. It would be much

   quicker, and the CSIRO admin wouldn't dare break into someone else's

   computers to delete the copied file. Choosing overseas sites would

   make it even harder for the admin to reach the admins of those

   machines and warn them in time. Then, once Zardoz was safely tucked

   away in a few back-up sites, Phoenix could download it over the

   Internet from one of those with less risk of being booted off the

   machine halfway through the process.

  

   Sitting at his home in Kelvin Grove, Thornbury, just two suburbs north

   of the CSIRO machine, Ian Mathieson watched the hacker break into his

   computer again. Awoken by a phone call at 2.30 a.m. telling him there

   was a suspected hacker in his computer, Mathieson immediately logged

   in to his work system, DITMELA, via his home computer and modem. The

   call, from David Hornsby of the Melbourne University Computer Science

   Department, was no false alarm.

  

   After watching the unknown hacker, who had logged in through a

   Melbourne University machine terminal server, for about twenty

   minutes, Mathieson booted the hacker off his system. Afterwards he

   noticed that the DITMELA computer was still trying to execute a

   command issued by the hacker. He looked a little closer, and

   discovered DITMELA was trying to deliver mail to two Melbourne

   University accounts.

  

   The mail, however, hadn't been completely delivered. It was still

   sitting in the mail spool, a temporary holding pen for undelivered

   mail. Curious as to what the hacker would want so much from his

   system, Mathieson moved the file into a subdirectory to look at it. He

   was horrified to find the entire Zardoz archive, and he knew exactly

   what it meant. These were no ordinary hackers--they were precision

   fliers. Fortunately, Mathieson

   consoled himself, he had stopped the mail before it had been sent out