Petra noted the strained comment and interjected, “Quip, we need more Ghost Code examples, not just snippets of fragments, if we are going to work this backwards to the source. The banking example in Ireland is the most recent one, but we are facing the same problem: it came, it delivered chaos, and it left with no evidence that it was even there. While this looks like a teenage hacker prank, it is a Proof of Concept exercise. If the code was fully baked then I can imagine our Ghost Code not restoring everything but instead painting ransom demands on the screen of every bank terminal until paid. I mean, why restore what had been taken, if the source code was fully evolved?”
Wolfgang and Quip both nodded in agreement.
Quip then questioned, “Are you suggesting these events are training exercises prior to a full scale onslaught?”
Discarding his earlier irritation, Jacob now observed, “That is an interesting observation, Petra. That might more easily explain why everything gets restored and the program cleans up after itself. That suggests that the program creator has further ambition for the code but is not willing to tip their hand.”
Quip considered the statement from Jacob and then asked, “Julie, do you have some observations on this topic?”
Without moving her gaze from staring out the window, she said, “Quip, I’m an operations and delivery technician. While I find all this discussion interesting, I’m not going to be able to help write encryption code or debug the grasshopper-loop. I can comment on the delivery issues I see. From what I’ve heard on the hydroelectric plant, the bank, and even the smart car, they all have the same thing in common from a delivery perspective: rogue code is delivered into a system that does not usually lend itself to being penetrated. As a cyber-assassin, I am always looking for ways to get in, deposit the payload, and leave with no one the wiser.
“This is precisely what these episodes have demonstrated and to points you are all raising. We are up against some very well trained cyber assassins.”
Wolfgang suggested, “We also need to start making inroads on following the money. There is always money in this sort of multi-layered activity.
“May I also make a recommendation here? Since we are not getting enough information remotely, perhaps we would be more successful if we had resources go to site? In that way we can do some forensics activity first-hand.”
Quip nodded in agreement then proposed, “I would like to see Petra and Jacob take separate road trips this time so we can get the most value from you individually in the shortest amount of time. Jacob, I need you to go to New York and retrieve some equipment at our Ronnie, Ltd. offices and have it shipped here. You might want to also check-in with your former employer at PT, Inc. Petra, I’d like you on the hydroelectric gig in Brazil. I know you prefer to work together, but I really believe we need to split up to shorten our time horizon. Are you two alright with that approach?”
They both nodded agreement with his plan.
Wolfgang interjected, “Petra, I have some contacts that we can leverage in Brazil to make your entry go smoother, and I’ll reach out to them after this meeting.”
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