Absent 缺席 (剧情小说)

作者:Felicia Hajra-Lee

缺席

亨利·鲍尔斯曾经加入过一个智囊团,问了一个看似简单的问题:

电脑犯罪和物理犯罪会留下相同的法庭证据吗?


亨利·鲍尔斯曾经加入过一个智囊团,问了一个看似简单的问题:

电脑犯罪和物理犯罪会留下相同的法庭证据吗?关键是要弄清楚我们是不是已经为充满冒险的网络犯罪新世界做好了准备,或者我们是否开始重新考虑被使用的工具(甚至包括隐藏意义上的)。比如,跟指纹等价的数据类型是哪种?网络犯罪的“表演”场所是类似银行劫匪,还是和连环杀手相同的方式匹配某些资料?用于虚拟犯罪的武器是否像子弹和K线图一样有迹可循?在这个问题上,网络犯罪的犯罪现场是什么?

五年前还看不出这一切究竟有什么意义,只有一些投机企业对身处漏洞百出的学术界和情报部门的理论家打着小主意。现在,网络犯罪的幽灵与我们息息相关——还在黄金时段作为指定电视节目。尽管如此,鲍尔斯仍忍不住自嘲地笑了,因为他意识到一个从没被智囊团里成员提出过的问题:有可能进行虚拟谋杀吗?

他看了看表,要是走运的话,不出十分钟他就能得到答案。不会有血迹,也没有尸体和死亡证明,亨利·鲍尔斯正准备进行历史上首次真正的网络谋杀。

目标是一个检测算法程序,也被称为ADA。

犯罪现场位于华盛顿特区的国家情报局总部的地下室,在2015年7月一个炎热的晚上。

凶器是几段特殊的病毒代码组合,鲍尔斯在被855囚禁的几个月里写出来的,他的老朋友H·理查德·罗伯(也就是P.A.Chapeau)提供了点编程的改进版。顺带一说,这位老朋友也有份使得ADA变成了一个怪物。

刺客则是Omnivore,一种大规模反犯罪、反恐怖主义的检测机器的名称,在911之后建造并在随后几年被极大地升级了。

鲍尔斯是执行攻击行为的人,让他多少有点网络黑帮头目的意思。当然,他是受855命令行事,因为如果失败的话,855会杀了他。

虽然855并不是那种下手前要聊天的性格,但对他来说这个工作和平常的不太一样。

“我们要怎么知道她已经死了?”

鲍尔斯知道那种感觉,当他确实知悉了某事时的感觉,是855这类人无法理解的。在澳大利亚之后的事情都有了不错的突破。

他的回答自信而简短:“她将缺席。”


Absent

Henry Bowles had once participated in a think tank that asked a deceptively simple question: Do computer crimes leave the same kinds of forensic evidence as physical crimes? The point was to figure out whether we were at all equipped for the brave new world of cybercrime, or if we were going to have to start rethinking the tools (and even the metaphors) being used. For example, what are the digital equivalents of fingerprints? Do cybercriminals “stage” scenes the way bank robbers do, or match certain profiles in the same way that serial killers do? Are the weapons used to commit virtual crimes as traceable as bullets and candlesticks? For that matter, what’s the crime scene in a cybercrime?

Five years ago, all of this had seemed like the kind of pointless, speculative enterprise of interest only to the eggheads living on the porous border between academia and intelligence. Now the specter of cybercrime was a whole lot more relevant–and had, of course, been co-opted by primetime television. Still, Bowles couldn’t help but smirk to himself as he realized that there was one question nobody at the think tank had thought to ask: Was it possible to commit virtual murder?

He checked his watch. With any luck, he’d be in a position to answer that question in a little over ten minutes. There would be no blood, no body, and no death certificate, yet Henry Bowles was nonetheless in the process of committing the first actual cyber murder in history.

The target was A Detection Algorithm, also known as ADA.

The crime scene was the basement of the National Intelligence Agency headquarters in Washington, DC, on a hot night in July of 2015.

The murder weapon was a combination of some particularly virulent code that Bowles had written during his months of confinement with 855, delivering a modified version of something his old buddy H. Richard Loeb (aka P. A. Chapeau) had provided–a bit of programming that, incidentally, had helped create the monster that ADA became.

The assassin was Omnivore, a massive anti-crime, anti-terrorism snoop machine created in the wake of 9/11 and vastly upgraded over the years that followed.

Bowles was the man who set the hit in motion, which made him some sort of cyber-mafia Don. Of course, he was acting at the behest of 855, who was probably going to kill him if he failed.

855 wasn’t the type to get chatty before a hit, but this also wasn’t exactly a normal job for him. “So how do we know when she’s dead?”

Bowles savored the feeling of knowing something, of understanding something, that was out of 855’s league. It was a nice change of pace after Australia and everything that had followed. His answer was almost cocky in its brevity: “She will be absent.”