Dateline: Bank Holiday Monday, 11th May 1997, York University.
The story that follows is true.
Twas a dark yet not so stormy evening over campus. All appeared quiet as your narrator slowly made his way to the Vanbrugh compsci room with the intention of checking his email before the long night ahead. As I sat down I noticed a strange atmosphere in the room yet took little notice. Several spods are staring at their screens in dismay. I attempt to login. Incorrect. I try agian. Same again. What's going on? A bug? Mark's crashed tower again? Exclamations come out across the room. Something's afoot!
A sudden noise across the room makes all turn. "Someone's hacked into tower" comes the cry. No! Confusion reigns. Spods franticly thump keyboards. Others look bemused. A cry. Yes, the man in the corner? "It's coming from somewhere with the initials b.y. Hold on; Minsk!!!! In Byelorussia!" What? This is the start of much frenzied activity. Confused talk requests are exchanged with the spod-pit. Computer Services are uncontactable, its 6pm on a Bank Holiday. Runners are dispached to various porters, only to return bearing messages of shaken heads. The hacker, it slowly emerges, has disabled access to tower to all except himself, and has become root. What dastardly deeds is he committing.
Over the next few hours an heroic struggle takes place, and I was lucky enough to witness it. V058 becomes a hive of activity, conferences are had around computers, voices struggle to be heard. Someone in Derwent leaves to get some computing persons phone number from his house, never to be heard from again. To all intents and purposes, V058 has become the operations centre where our saviours struggled for hours against the might of the East. Paths are gradually uncovered, though progress is slow, with many a dead end being uncovered. It would be unfair to name one as the leader for all here today made enormous sacrifices and everyone gave their all.
Suddenly a ray of hope emerges. A lonely compsci in Wenty has found the way in. Advice and suggestions floods across the wires. This brave individual now seems to be gaining. He has to shut down tower. He gains control and begins the procedure, painstakingly slowly it seems to the crowd of spods and onlookers in the opperations centre. The message goes out warning all of the impending shut down. Tension is mounting. "Shut it down" is muttered at the screen by many a spod. The excitement builds. Can he do it? Suddenly a new message arrives. "F##k You". All stare at eachother in amazement. Was this the invader or someone else completely? If so who. We still do not know.
Then, without warning the system goes down. Afraid of loosing face or having finished what he came for our visitor, knowing he was into seconds left, shut it down himself. And left. Or did he? Still too early to breath easily, the Wenty hero arrives at vuft, and the checking begins. What did the invader do. How? And is he still there? Vigorous checks are made, the valiant few still refusing to give up on their vigil 'till all that could be done has been.
And so the dust settles. Many were effected, at the time of writing, Tower is still down as a precuation. Questions must now be answered, many I'm sure will be directed to computer services, why are there so many gaps and inadequate protection? Why is there nobody to contact in a situation like this? Yes, it could have waited 'till morning. Who knows, by then how much damage could have been caused. How much was indeed caused, if any? Yet this should not detract from those who worked tirelessly over this crisis, who I would now like to pay tribute to. Though many of them I'm sure would prefer to remain nameless to the general public, they know who they are and they should feel proud of themselves tonight. Spods of V058, Derwent, and everywhere else they were, I salute you.
Mad Irish firstname.lastname@example.org
Tory Web Page Pornography
Computer networking problems
The end of the vuft terminal room