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   An avid apiarist, Mendax kept his own hive. Bees fascinated him. He

   liked to watch them interact, to see their sophisticated social

   structure. So it was with particular pleasure that he enlisted their

   help in hiding his hacking activities. For months he had meticulously

   secreted the disks in the hive. It was the ideal location--unlikely,

   and well guarded by 60000 flying things with stings. Though he hadn't

   bought the hive specifically for hiding stolen computer account

   passwords for the likes of the US Air Force 7th Command Group in the

   Pentagon, it appeared to be a secure hiding place.

  

   He had replaced the cover of the super box, which housed the

   honeycomb, with a sheet of coloured glass so he could watch the bees

   at work. In summer, he put a weather protector over the glass. The

   white plastic cover had raised edges and could be fastened securely to

   the glass sheet with metal clasps. As Mendax considered his

   improvements to the bee box, he realised that this hive could provide

   more than honey. He carefully laid out the disks between the glass and

   the weather protector. They fitted perfectly in the small gap.

  

   Mendax had even trained the bees not to attack him as he removed and

   replaced the disks every day. He collected sweat from his armpits on

   tissues and then soaked the tissues in a sugar water solution. He fed

   this sweaty nectar to the bees. Mendax wanted the bees to associate

   him with flowers instead of a bear, the bees' natural enemy.

  

   But on the evening of the AFP raid Mendax's incriminating disks were

   in full view on the computer table and the officers headed straight

   for them. Ken Day couldn't have hoped for better evidence. The disks

   were full of stolen userlists, encrypted passwords, cracked passwords,

   modem telephone numbers, documents revealing security flaws in various

   computer systems, and details of the AFP's own investigation--all from

   computer systems Mendax had penetrated illegally.

  

   Mendax's problems weren't confined to the beehive disks. The last

   thing he had done on the computer the day before was still on screen.

   It was a list of some 1500 accounts, their passwords, the dates that

   Mendax had obtained them and a few small notes beside each one.

  

   The hacker stood to the side as the police and two Telecom Protective

   Services officers swarmed through the house. They photographed his

   computer equipment and gathered up disks, then ripped up the carpet so

   they could videotape the telephone cord running to his modem. They

   scooped up every book, no small task since Mendax was an avid reader,

   and held each one upside down looking for hidden computer passwords on

   loose pieces of paper. They grabbed every bit of paper with

   handwriting on it and poured through his love letters, notebooks and

   private diaries. `We don't care how long it takes to do this job,' one

   cop quipped. `We're getting paid overtime. And danger money.'

  

   The feds even riffled through Mendax's collection of old Scientific

   American and New Scientist magazines. Maybe they thought he had

   underlined a word somewhere and turned it into a passphrase for an

   encryption program.

  

   Of course, there was only one magazine the feds really wanted:

   International Subversive. They scooped up every print-out of the

   electronic journal they could find.

  

   As Mendax watched the federal police sift through his possessions and

   disassemble his computer room, an officer who had some expertise with