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   speaking an alien tongue, lay in fragments scattered around the house.

  

   Anthrax felt wretched. His mother was distraught at the destruction

   and he was badly shaken by how much it upset her. He promised to try

   and control his temper from that moment on. It proved to be a constant

   battle. Mostly he would win, but not always. The battle still simmered

   below the surface.

  

   Sometimes it boiled over.

 

                            [ ]

  

   Anthrax considered the possibilities of who else would be using his

   login patch. It could be another hacker, perhaps someone who was

   running another sniffer that logged Anthrax's previous login. But it

   was more likely to be a security admin. Meaning he had been found out.

   Meaning that he might be being traced even as he leap-frogged through

   System X to the telecommunications company's computer.

  

   Anthrax made his way to the system admin's mailboxes. If the game was

   up, chances were something in the mailbox would give it away.

  

   There it was. The evidence. They were onto him all right, and they

   hadn't wasted any time. The admins had mailed CERT, the Computer

   Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon University, reporting a

   security breach. CERT, the nemesis of every Internet hacker, was bound

   to complicate matters. Law enforcement would no doubt be called in

   now.

  

   It was time to get out of this system, but not before leaving in a

   blaze of glory. A prank left as a small present.

  

   CERT had written back to the admins acknowledging the incident and

   providing a case number. Posing as one of the admins, Anthrax drafted

   a letter to CERT. To make the thing look official, he added the case

   number `for reference'. The letter went something like this:

  

   `In regard to incident no. XXXXX, reported on this date, we have since

   carried out some additional investigations on the matter. We have

   discovered the security incident was caused by a disgruntled employee

   who was fired for alcoholism and decided to retaliate against the

   company in this manner.

  

   `We have long had a problem with alcohol and drug abuse due to the

   stressful nature of the company environment. No further investigation

   is necessary.'

  

   At his computer terminal, Anthrax smiled. How embarrassing was that

   going to be? Try scraping that mud off. He felt very pleased with

   himself.

  

   Anthrax then tidied up his things in the company's computer, deleted

   the sniffer and moved out.

  

   Things began to move quickly after that. He logged into System X later

   to check the sniffer records, only to find that someone had used his

   login patch password on that system as well. He became very nervous.

   It was one thing goofing around with a commercial site, and quite

   another being tracked from a military computer.