PHD #404: Hacker or No
Hacker or No
Summary: Magnus and Kincaid discover the truth behind the "hacking" that took place during Abbot's trial. Or do they?
Date: 6 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: Bringing in a Computer Expert.
Kincaid Magnus 
Marine Offices — Deck Six — Battlestar Cerberus
This offices consists of desks for those under the CO, along with his desk toward the back of the room. The S1 and S2 have desks here and the place is neat as a pin, with everything in its place. At the front of the room, a Marine sits at a desk to meet people as they come in through the hatch.
Post-Holocaust Day: #404

At a desk for the S-3 Training Officer, three people sit and hover. In the center, in front of a computer, sits Professor Magnus Dekker, the expert from Caprica on all things computer. Next to him is Daniel Kincaid, Marine detective. And hovering over his shoulder is a nameless squint from CIC — a computer programmer in enlisted greens that is doing his best to try to keep up with what Magnus is doing.

"Anything, Doc?" asks Kincaid, for what must be the millionth time during his work.

Magnus's fingers works really fast on that computer keyboard and he keeps his focus on the screen, not even looking down. At the moment, he is working on Vandenberg's computer, trying to find details or something that could give them an idea of what happened. "Just a second…" offers the man without looking at Kincaid, he is in full focus mode right now. "Curious…." mutters the man a few minutes after that and he sits back on his chair "Well…" starts the man, running his fingers over his chin "Well…this hacker you mention was…very very through…if there was a hacker indeed." He clears his throat and adds "If there was a file, it deleted itself after being read by Vandenberg, to the point at which….there's just /no/ records that would indicate that this file existed in the system at all." He types a few more things and looks at the results. "All that I found on her computer is the trace of an instruction that, basically, what it did…was to opn a word processor and type out 'Sunlight is the best desinfectant'…" he looks at Kincaid now. "Also a bunch of backspaces…which leads me to believe that, the message wrote itself and then deleted itself. And…the last instruction was to close the word processor" He clears his throat again "This was run…" he checks a few more things "A few hours after the conclusion of the first secret poll in the trial"

A long pause as Kincaid processes all of that. "All right," he says finally. "Okay. Well." Another pause. "Any idea of where the hacker came from? Who put it there?"

Magnus looks at the screen and he says "Well, like I mentioned, if there was a hacker here, he or she made sure to remove every single bit of information that could locate us on a better track." He looks at the Marine Systems console and says "Perhaps we can get more info from there?"

Kincaid gets to his feet and nods. "Sure," he says, gesturing for Dekker to lead the way. "Whatever you need, Doc." The CIC squint just follows after wordlessly. He's not getting speaking rates.

Magnus stands up and cracks his knuckles as if getting ready to do more work. He walks towards the console and takes a seat there. "Ok…let's see….around that date and time" He starts punching the keys and it doesn't take him long to say "Ok, there's something here." he looks at Kincaid now and back to the screen "Someone was poking about in the Marine System during this particular date. And…" he narrows his eyes and nods "And that someone masked the system ID…" he shakes his head "Give me a second, this has been done really crudely and…in a non-professional fashion, it'll be easy to crack…one moment" and he starts typing again.

Kincaid hovers over Magnus's shoulder, not sitting down this time. He just hovers. "Unprofessional?" asks Kincaid. "But if the other was a professional job —" His voice trails off. "Why would they do such a bad job on masking the system ID?"

"Well, that's what we'll know in a moment…" says Magnus, still typing on the console. "Ok, this ID accessed secure Marine files…the files you mention she would have received from the Hacker." He nods to himself and presses his lips together "Ok, let's see here…" after a few more minutes "Aha…" and he sits back looking at the screen with lips pressed. "Vandenberg"

"What?" The tone of Kincaid's voice is both surprised and confused at the same time. "I'm not sure I understand. Vandenberg is the one that accessed the files that got put on her own computer?"

Magnus turns his gaze from the screen towards Kincaid "Well, what I'm saying is that, the ID that accessed secure files in your Marine System, was Vandenberg's. And it was done during that date, of the trial. And it had a poorly designed mask, which you normally do when you are trying to cover something up."

Magnus shakes his head "No no, you don't understand me. This /is/ Vandenberg's ID."

"So Vandenberg accessed these files and tried to use a mask to cover it up?" Kincaid reformulates it, still trying to wrap his head around it. "I'm still not sure I'm understanding this, Doc."

"Vandeberg's ID accessed these files" says Magnus, nodding at that. "The this ID, was masked to prevent others from knowing /who/ accessed the files. In this case, to prevent others from knowing that Vandenberg's ID accessed the files. You understand?"

"Uh-huh." Kincaid just makes a non-committal noise. He gets it, but it doesn't seem to quite connect for him. "But you said it was poorly done. Is it possible that someone more sophisticated fabricated the mask and Vandenberg's access?"

"I think you are still wrapped on what I said about Vandenberg's laptop…about the professional job. Let me rephrase. The hacker was very professional, /IF/ there was, indeed, a hacker. There are absolutely no records of those files exisiting on that computer." He clears his throat and nods "Yes, on the Marine system, the mas was poorly done, easy to decode. It was meant to cover up Vandeberg's ID…but it didn't work well"

"But you said there were those instructions about the word processor on Lieutenant Vandenberg's computer," replies Kincaid. He's clearly still lost. "That's signs of hacking, isn't it?"

"Yeah, but I can't tell if it was a hacker, this is just a log of something that happened in the system. Which looks odd simply for what it is. The log itself doesn't look like it was modified, you know what I mean?" says Magnus, trying to explain a little better.

Magnus clears his throat for a moment as he looks at the screen "Based on what I'm seeing here…I see two possibilities." He takes a deep breath and rubs his fingers over his eyes "The first one. Vandenberg made up the entire story of someone hacking into her system. She accessed the secure files herself and tried to clean up the mess, poorly. And constructed this whole story to hide her own curiosity. Now, the evidence for this is pretty concrete. But…" he takes another deep breath "The other option I have is a little more disturbing. Maybe someone managed to compromise your entire system and was able to construct a scenario that would pin blame Vandenberg on it. Now, there is absolutely no evidence that this happened, /at all/. With my level of knowledge, I could possibly pull that off in a couple months. But…a Cylon? Could do that in a day."

"All right." Kincaid claps Magnus on the shoulder. "Thanks, Doctor. I really appreciate it. Just do me one favor?" There is a certain resigned tone in his voice, though his thankfulness is genuine. "Don't put any of this in writing."

Kincaid shakes his head. "That's it, Doctor. Again, I appreciate you coming down to help with all of this. If you ever need anything, give me a yell, okay?"

Magnus nods once again and offers a handshake to Kincaid "Sure, I'll make sure to do that." There is a very faint yet polite smile from him and now, he just turns and leaves.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License