The Hacker Chronicles

Episode 9: The Key

Episode Summary

Alice discovers there’s no such thing as reward without risk.

Episode Notes

Alice discovers there’s no such thing as reward without risk.

The Hacker Chronicles is an original series created by the team at Tenable.

Additional production support provided by Caspian Studios

Episode Transcription

Alice:

To recap, I'm at the Mandrake. Oglethorpe and Hudson sends me a message that basically reads, "Hey, we want to confirm you're ready to get the money so that you can send us the decryption key." And I start sending them a message saying, "Yeah, I'm ready." But my phone dies. Of course, if life were easy, I could just borrow a charger from someone. Except, I had a much bigger problem. In fact, you could say it was beyond a problem entirely. It was an existential threat. My best friend Beth just met Helen, the Oglethorpe employee I socially engineered on the train. In other words, the whole reason my hack was successful was because I lied to Helen. She thought my name was Katie who had a friend named Chase Vanzant, who needed a job in accounting. How's that for a shit show? I never thought my lovesick best friend would be the reason I'd get caught, but there I was. I had to get out fast.

Beth:

Helen. You want a shot with that beer? It's on me.

Alice:

Beth. I really have to go. We have to go. It's an emergency.

Beth:

Ugh, party pooper.

Helen:

Oh no, no, no. It's all good. I'm with my friends anyway. Beth, where's your phone? I'll put my number in.

Beth:

Yes, please.

Alice:

Ugh.

Helen:

Okay, here you go. Text me when you're not so busy. I'll see you girls later. Oh, by the way, Katie, I don't know if Chase ever heard back, but I forwarded his resume to some people in the department. I also sent it to a friend of mine at one of our biggest clients. They have a job open in. It's that huge food company, Robert Sky. We're representing them for that recall fiasco. I've heard it's an amazing place to work.

Alice:

Wait, you forwarded Chase's resume to someone at Robert Sky?

Helen:

Yeah. I mean, that's what friends are for. I bet they've already put him at the top of the stack.

Alice:

Oh my God. Yeah, that is wow. Helen, that's just the icing on the cake.

Helen:

I know, anything for a friend of a tiger.

Beth:

Tigers? Why are you both-

Alice:

Hey, I'll tell Chase, he's really going to appreciate that. Thanks Helen. But we've really got to go. I got to get out of here. Sorry.

Helen:

Well, I'll see you two soon. And hopefully I'll see you sooner, Beth.

Beth:

Oh, you will.

Alice:

Beth, let's go. You're stumbling.

Beth:

Did she call you Katie?

Alice:

Yeah, she's been calling me Katie since sophomore year. I just never wanted to correct her. Come on, let's get an Uber. We'll just have a sleepover at my place.

Uber Driver:

Call for Alice.

Alice:

Yeah, thank you. Beth, come on, let's get in.

Beth:

I'm getting in. I'm getting in. Where is the seatbelt? Is this a normal seatbelt? This feels really complicated.

Alice:

Oh God, it's just a seatbelt.

Beth:

I need to text Helen, she needs my number.

Alice:

No, no, just slow down. No texting.

Beth:

Why not? I'm single, she's cute.

Alice:

Hey Beth, I think you're a little out of practice being single. I have an idea. Why don't we put your phone in time out? Because, I mean, you can't text someone you just met while you're on your way home. You have to wait 24 hours, it's the rule.

Beth:

Yeah, you're right. That'd be desperate. And owls are not desperate.

Alice:

That's right, they are not. Okay, so why don't I hold onto the phone and I'll give it back to you in the morning.

Beth:

No, I'm putting it in my purse, I have self-control, phone time out starts now.

Alice:

Okay.

Beth:

Maddie and I played a game called timeout. I think that's the only thing I'm going to miss about her. I don't feel good. Can we get pizza? Oh no, lox and cream cheese. The whole the bagel, I'm trying to watch my carbs.

Alice:

Ooh, that's disgusting.

Beth:

No it isn't. Ugh.

Uber Driver:

Hey, your friend, is she all right? She's not going to puke back there, is she?

Alice:

No, she's fine.

Beth:

Oh god.

Alice:

Hey dude, you do your job, I'll do mine.

Uber Driver:

This is a Toyota, not a toilet.

Beth:

It looks like a toilet.

Katie:

Back for wine night. I just opened this Oregon coast, be known why.

Alice:

I'd love to, but I got a work emergency.

Beth:

I like wine.

Alice:

Oh, I know you do sweetie.

Katie:

Then you've got to try this.

Alice:

Hey Beth, I'm just going to put your purse in my room for safekeeping.

Beth:

Katie, do you know I'm on phone time out? I got a number at the bar and I can't text back for 24 hours.

Katie:

That's flirting 101.

Beth:

I know, but Alice doesn't trust me to have boundaries.

Katie:

Oh, Alice and I, we are big on boundaries here.

Beth:

But, I really want to text her. She'd the cutest Southern accent.

Alice:

No, no, I mean, you can't, right? You can't.

Katie:

Um-mm, no, you have to wait.

Beth:

I know, phone time out is a sacred boundary, I got it. But, I just can't thinking, what if it's meant to be? What if we're soulmates?

Katie:

Oh, true love. Do you think true love is real?

Beth:

Maybe.

Katie:

Now, this honey, this right here, this is my kind of wine night conversation.

Alice:

Okay. I'll be right back, okay? I got to do this.

Alice:

Finally, time to send this message and get my money. Geez, dark web, could you be any slower? I mean, I get it, peer-to-peer security and all that, but come on. Okay, there we go. Hello ProtonMail, am I glad to see you? Let's do this. Let's write this email. "Hi Frank, I'm ready to receive-"

Beth:

I need to go to the bathroom.

Alice:

Hey, it's all yours. Do your damage.

Beth:

Do you know my favorite thing about your bathroom is your hand soap. It's so foamy, so foamy, so foamy-

Alice:

Okay, I never thought about that but why don't you just go in there and I can hold onto your purse? Cool?

Beth:

No, timeout goes with me everywhere.

Alice:

Okay. All right, forget her and the stupid phone for 10 seconds. Let's just get that money. "Hi Frank, I am ready to receive the payment, pay promptly and everyone will go home happy." Okay sent. Oh my God, Beth, are you okay?

Beth:

I'm fine. Your door is in the wrong place.

Alice:

Why don't I come in there and help you out?

Beth:

No, I'm here, I'm good. Your door is my least favorite part of your bathroom.

Alice:

Beth, maybe you should just crash on my bed.

Beth:

Well, I can't, I'm missing wine night.

Alice:

I can get you more wine.

Beth:

You need wine too.

Alice:

Of course.

Beth:

Random thought. Do you think Jesus could turn wine into water or was it like a one way ticket? Seems like it'd be more valuable to turn things into water in the desert. Like, here's a rock. No, it's water.

Alice:

It'd be funny.

Beth:

See, this is the kind of stuff Maddie didn't want to talk to me about, but she never shot up at the time that she made tofu from scratch. She told me, I was a hipster cliche.

Alice:

Exactly. See, you're so much better on your own. Just totally on your own. Right? Aren't you?

Beth:

Oh, the room is spinning. Whose come, I'm just going to close my eyes for a little while.

Alice:

Okay. It's time to kiss Helen goodbye. Sorry Beth, you two were actually pretty cute. All right Beth, where is your phone? There you are, please have facial recognition. Maybe if I move it this way, oh my God, it worked. Beth, I'm no cybersecurity expert, but maybe that should require eye contact. Mean, I really shouldn't be able to unlock your phone with that absolutely adorable sleeping face. Ugh, you're drooling already. Okay. All right, now number, there you are. Okay. Ooh Helen, with a peach emoji, original. Now, let's just change a few digits, looks like Helen had drunk thumbs and done.

Beth:

What are you doing?

Alice:

Oh, I'm just making sure that you didn't lose the truck keys. I mean, that would be awful.

Beth:

Oh, good call. It's wine night. I'm going to crash on the couch. Why does your computer sound like the price is right?

Alice:

Oh, I think, my contract just went through. Let me check. Oh, it did.

Beth:

You go girl, you're filthy rich.

Alice:

No, I'm not rich. I'm not like, rich. Hey, I got to go budget all this money I just got.

Beth:

You go finance the hell out of that, you owl of Wall Street. I think one night might be over.

Alice:

Sleep tight. Well, that wasn't how I expected to get $350,000. Oh, my life is so weird. Ooh, okay. Hello admin console. What are all these notifications? Ugh, I'll deal with you later.

Alice:

Okay. It's time to generate the decryption key and send it to Oglethorpe, so that they can get back to work. Here you go, "Here is your master key, enjoy looking down on the peasants from your castle." And done. Sorry for the inconvenience, Helen. Oh my God, that's it. That's really it. Okay. I get it. What are these notifications? Wait, what is this? Why is there an IP address here? I'm not in anymore Oglethorpe endpoints. Wait, that... No way. Oh my God, that's got to be... Helen, why did you forward that freaking resume? Shit. Okay, oh, I need to run the reconnaissance kid. Where are you? Oh my God, where's tech support when you need them? Oh okay, I got it up. Let's look around. Oh my God, thank you for confirming what I already know. I am inside Robert Sky, the Robert Sky. Chase, always the overachiever. What the hell am I going to do with this? Exploit it? Oh my God, Alice, you are in one of the world's worst companies. You can do whatever you want here. No. Okay. You know what? Call Genie.

Genie:

Hello?

Alice:

Oh, I wasn't sure you'd pick up.

Genie:

Oh, Bridgerton just ended, so I got some time.

Alice:

Look, I know we haven't, I really need to talk to you about something.

Genie:

What's going on?

Alice:

I ran into the person I social engineered last night.

Genie:

Wait, what?

Alice:

No, it's fine, it doesn't matter. But she told me that Robert Sky is one of the firm's biggest clients, and she sent my fake resume to her account friend there who must have downloaded it. I can see the IP address right now.

Genie:

Ugh.

Alice:

I know.

Genie:

You need to delete everything and get out of that system. You need to erase every trace of you.

Alice:

But, what if I just ask for-

Genie:

What if you just what? Try to hack them?

Alice:

What if I just ask for 15 grand, like you said?

Genie:

Alice, I have three rules and you've already broken one. Attack Robert Sky and you'll break another.

Alice:

Don't try to spear a big fish, rule number three.

Genie:

It will pull you off the boat all the way to the ocean floor.

Alice:

I mean, what's the harm in just seeing if I can pull it off, you know what I'm saying?

Genie:

Alice, you want to swim with the sharks, but you just learned to swim yesterday. You need to wake up. This is going to your head.

Alice:

It is not going to my head. You said I'm good at this. I am good at this, Genie.

Genie:

I know, and that's what scares me. Alice, just forget about all that for a second. Even if you never intended to get into Robert Sky, I could get into so much trouble, but whatever, it's not just me though, Alice, so could your brother, he gave you the money that you used to start all of this. You used your roommate's wifi. If you get caught, you can make their lives hell. Alice, you're my friend and I care about you, but you're scaring me. You have to stop. You made your money. You can do anything you want, but not this.

Alice:

Yeah, you're right. I won't do it.

Genie:

Thank you. Look, I'm not trying to nag you. I just, I care about you.

Alice:

Can we just play Warzone and just stop talking about this?

Genie:

Yeah. I'll text Falcon. He's probably playing right now, unless he's on joystick. See you there?

Alice:

Yeah. I'm logging on now. Hey Genie?

Genie:

Yeah.

Alice:

Just thanks for everything. Okay?

Genie:

Don't mention it. It's what friends are for.

Alice:

Falcon, artillery fire at your six.

BLUEFALCON:

I'm already on it Ableton.

Alice:

You are?

BLUEFALCON:

No, you're not. Yes, I am. And Ableton, you've got incoming fire. Hold on, I got you.

Alice:

Ugh.

BLUEFALCON:

Ugh. Nevermind, we're both dead. Make that three of us. Today is not my day.

Alice:

Why? What's going on?

BLUEFALCON:

Oh, just same stuff on joystick. The other day, I saw this girl who was really cute and she only live, like 20 minutes away. We matched and then I sent her a picture and you can guess what happened next.

Alice:

She totally thought you were a catfish.

BLUEFALCON:

She totally thought I was a catfish. "Don't stalk me."

Genie:

What kind of pick did you send her?

Alice:

Eww, no, I don't want to know.

BLUEFALCON:

It was a javelin guys. It was me throwing a javelin. Okay?

Alice:

Like a javelin from the Olympics?

BLUEFALCON:

Yeah.

Alice:

Okay.

BLUEFALCON:

I was a javelin thrower in college. Actually, I was even on the Olympic qualifier team, but then I tore my labrum and I was never the same. I actually thought I was going to be the best in the world at it. Honestly, I was convinced everyone was going to know my name.

Alice:

I don't think everyone in the world knows javelin throwers.

BLUEFALCON:

Well, the javelin world would, and Wheaties. And that's enough for me. What about you two? Am I the only person who thought I was going to be famous?

Genie:

I was convinced I'd be the next startup billionaire.

Alice:

Yeah. I thought I'd have two albums and a Grammy by now.

BLUEFALCON:

Oh, anyone can get a Grammy.

Alice:

Yeah, I guess. I mean, I just, I never cared about the fame necessarily. I just wanted people to know my music, to know the work. Because who cares if they know who you are, they just, they have to know that your work changed their life. Like, that you had an impact on people.

BLUEFALCON:

God, this world isn't fair. I mean, look at me. I'm a six foot five freak show who has to custom order his T-shirts because his biceps are too big. On paper, I should have, like 18 girlfriends. I can't even get 18 matches on joystick. One second, that's my groceries. Grocery time.

Genie:

We've had some crazy conversations today.

Alice:

Oh my God. You are not kidding Genie. But Hey, that's what friends are for, right?

Genie:

Yeah.

BLUEFALCON:

You two still there? Or do you two love birds need some privacy?

Genie:

No, we're here.

Alice:

Ugh.

BLUEFALCON:

Is that the grudge girl?

Alice:

Falcon, did your groceries just put you in a super good mood?

BLUEFALCON:

Oh, you can't even imagine. I am so glad the Roberts Sky recall is over. I mean, I don't like them. Who does? But I haven't found a decent replacement for their oat milk in my protein shakes and I just, I've loaded up on it.

Alice:

Wait, the recall is over?

BLUEFALCON:

Yeah.

Alice:

Those guys sent, like 10 people to the hospital.

BLUEFALCON:

They sure did.

Alice:

Somebody was in a coma.

BLUEFALCON:

I'm surprised you didn't see that on the news. They were fined, like 500K for improper documentation or something like that.

Alice:

Oh.

BLUEFALCON:

But apparently it wasn't their fault. There was a vendor that supplied them with something contaminated.

Alice:

$500,000 that's it? It's like no justice. God.

BLUEFALCON:

Hey, if the price for digestion is mind control then so be it.

Alice:

Whatever.

Genie:

I do love those organic cookies they make.

BLUEFALCON:

Oh, even if they recall those, I'd still eat them.

Alice:

Hey you guys, I'm just, I'm going to peace out. Sick of looking at screens right now. All right?

BLUEFALCON:

Does that mean you are going to bed too, Genie?

Alice:

No, God.

Genie:

For the last time, no.

Alice:

All right. I'm going to bed. Goodnight you freaks.

Genie:

Night.

BLUEFALCON:

Nighty night.

Alice:

Hey Katie, can I talk to you?

Katie:

Of course roomy. You don't have to ask. You're making a really weird face. Oh my God, who died?

Alice:

No, it's not that, it's just, I don't know how else to say this, so I'm just going to cut to the chase. I need to move out.

Katie:

What? Why?

Alice:

Because, I've got this chance to focus on my music, and after this last freelance gig I'm just going to take that opportunity and really get into it like I've always wanted to.

Katie:

Wow. I wish I could say I was surprised.

Alice:

Wait, you're not?

Katie:

I put those iron pyrite crystals in our living room for a reason, their vibrations give you the power to overcome your insecurities and be your one true self. And they worked.

Alice:

Yeah. I didn't even know they were working. So, thanks.

Katie:

Mm-hmm. That's the power of crystals. Their energy is all around us. It's like a good vibe microwave.

Alice:

Like a microwave? I wanted to say something else to you. I know I've been so focused on my stuff and maybe I haven't been the best roommate. I'm going to pay you this month's rent and a little interest on those late payments.

Katie:

It's okay.

Alice:

And also, I'm sorry, I never came to wine night. I just,-

Katie:

It's totally okay.

Alice:

... I should have.

Katie:

We all get tied up in our own world sometimes.

Alice:

Yeah, I guess, but I was wondering if maybe we could do that tonight, have wine night tonight, before I go?

Katie:

Yeah, I'd love that.

Alice:

Awesome.

Alice:

Hoody hoo Beth, how's my favorite owl doing?

Beth:

I feel terrible, but thanks again for everything. God, my head is still throbbing.

Alice:

I'm bet it is. Yeah. Hey, that's what friends are for.

Beth:

By the way, do you have Helen's number? I tried texting her, but I got a reply back, saying it was the wrong number. Just my luck, she had drunk thumbs.

Alice:

Man, that sucks. I'm sorry. But I don't actually have her number. I mean, we're not super close or anything. She's just someone from college we ran into.

Beth:

Okay. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. Well, like I said, thanks again.

Alice:

Stop thanking me. But I do have a favor to ask.

Beth:

Yeah. What?

Alice:

Do you remember when we were on our way to the Mandrake and you said I could take your truck to lake Placid?

Alice:

Ever since that conversation with Genie and Falcon, I couldn't get Robert Sky out of my head. I couldn't stop thinking about how they'd paid nothing for hurting. That stupid oat milk thing cost me my job and everything that had happened since was because of them. I'll be honest, I wanted to hurt them badly. But Genie was right about one thing, hacking the law firm had put more people at risk than I'd realized. I mean, I could have really messed up my brother's life and even Katie's. They were unwitting accessories to my crime. That's why I decided to go to lake Placid. So I could get out of my own head and figure out a way to do this. But without hurting anyone, except for Robert Sky. That night I logged into my admin console. There were two new IP addresses. Chase's resume was making its way around Robert Sky. It was time to live by Genie's fourth rule. What Genie doesn't know won't hurt him.