Tyndall: Operative, a pre-trial hearing between Wright Research and Pendhurst-Amaranth, where our operatives provided testimony on P-A's behalf, has spurred Wright Research to increase their legal pressure, which could make it difficult for P-A's chairwoman, Ms. Utley, to help us obtain information about Mauser's break-in at Wright Research. It's a headache that's just getting more complicated by the minute.
Captain Niobe is discussing possible courses of action with Ms. Utley now. Since you've seen action with both P-A and Wright Research already, your input will be appreciated.
Operator: Oh man. If we have to go through much more of this kind of thing, we're going to have to start charging lawyer-sized fees for wading through all the gobbledygook!
Brenda Utley: I'm only proposing that we use this as an alternate avenue for the time being. Wright has me in their sights at the moment, and we've seen that they're ready and willing to pull the trigger at any sign of your involvement. Now, the research my legal people have been doing found that there might be just as good a lead for you at Ouroboros, and as far as we know, we're under their radar right now.
Jacqueline Johnson: Oh, as long as they don't get any more ammunition, I'm sure we'll be able to resolve the Wright lawsuit in a satisfactory manner. After all, the whole thing hinges on Mauser, and if he can't be turned up, their case is ultimately baseless. Of course, the government could choose to press the issue, but frankly, I suspect that the less they have to make public about Mauser, the happier they'll be.
Brenda Utley: As a matter of fact, we've found indications that Ouroboros is having trouble with both organized crime syndicates *and* the federal government right now. Yes, they'll be on the alert, but they won't be expecting you, whereas Wright most definitely is.
Niobe: *CENSORED* lawyers. All right, there's been a change of plans. The Wright angle isn't paying off right now, so we're going to check on what *could* have been a break-in by Mauser at a different company: an electronics manufacturer called the Ouroboros Corporation. Brenda's people have been checking all their business contacts in the city for anything that could help their dispute with Wright Research, and they're pretty sure this report they turned up is legit.
We need to jump on this and see if it leads us to Mauser, override codes, or just whatever the hell has been going on. If it doesn't, then we go back to Wright--with or without Utley's help.
Zion Patcher: I don't like this kind of fighting, sir! Just give me something to shoot!
Tyndall: Warrior, Ms. Utley's people have provided us with contact information for an Ouroboros informant of theirs, Lowell Noyes, who claims to have information on a sabotage attempt at that company a little over four weeks ago--a time frame that coincides with Mauser's last confirmed activity in the Matrix. You'll be meeting with noyes to find out just what he can tell us about the incident.
Operator: Well, I've heard that the Mervs have been trying to dig around in Ouroboros' network for information on this "Oligarchy" thing--something to do with the intruders, and that big secret Machine area way off northwest of their city that the General was poking around in. Maybe Mauser was after the same thing?
We'll see what Noyes's got for us, I guess. He's all by his lonesome in there.
Lowell Noyes: You may know how tight-lipped the corporate culture at Ouroboros is... so it's pretty rare when I hear a rumour from more than one person, but I've caught two mentions now of something that happened around-- That's right, just a little over four weeks ago. One memo I saw called it an "intrusion incident."
I have no idea what it's about, but I know someone who might: a woman in our security force named Charlsie Hentzel. She's sold me inside information before, but she's at a different office now, and I can't get in touch with her without raising the wrong people's eyebrows. But I can get her address to you through our mutual friend, and you can track her down, right? So I figure that's what we'll do.
Operator: I've heard less crazy plans...like stuff Anome used to come up with back when he was a mission controller. Phew...
Okay, so if he's going to get this security person's address to Brenda, we'll get it through Tyndall and go hit her up. Cake.
Lowell Noyes: Hey, I don't trust anyone else at Ouroboros, but I've used her before, and I haven't lost my job yet, so that's got to count for something.
What's in it for me? Hah. Money, man. That friend of ours doesn't spare the coin to get what she wants, does she? Anyway, it isn't like this is really illegal or anything...
Tyndall: Yes, I've just received the information, Warrior. The only address we have is her work address, so you're going to have to find her on the job, and find some way to talk to her without attracting attention.
Operator: Mm-kay, looks like we've got a few security and some office personnel in there.
[Friendlies: Bluepill, Ouroboros Security (informant)] [Hostiles: Ouroboros Security]
Ariele Johnston: Hm? Do I know you? What department are you from?
Charlsie Hentzel: Noyes?! That crazy--
Okay, but I can't talk here. Let's move into the back room.
Yes, there was an attack, but it was a hack attempt--came in remotely off the internet. From the minimal briefing I got about it, it cut through our firewall like it wasn't even there.
That's all the information I was given and I only got that because I sometimes take shifts at the switch nearby, where our primary external firewall is maintained. I'll bring up the network map on the terminal here...
Okay, see that? I'd say check there. The server should have a log of the attack.
dsgntn 93H: 79927.8972.0001
dsgntn 01B: 14298.2816.0012
wypnt 002: xxxxx.0023.0081
swtch B48: 07082.0100.1830
Operator: Got it. We'll see where this goes.
Charlsie Hentzel: Just do me a favor, and go now, while I'm not on duty there, okay?
Oh yeah, and tell Noyes this is going to cost him double.
Ouroboros Security: Hey! Who are you? Identify yourself!
Operator: Might not want to stick around in there...
Ouroboros Security: You there! Stop!
Tyndall: Hm. What little we heard about the attack Mauser was supposed to have made at Wright Research implied that he was physically present at a computer on-site for that attack. According to what the Ouroboros guard told you, the attack on that company was executed remotely. If that's the case, it may be difficult to determine if it was Mauser at all.
Operator: The firewall server should be in there. Since you'll be local, you won't actually have to break through the firewall; just find the access logs, and we'll see if they've still got any record about the hack attempt.
Of course, the down side of being local is that you have site security to deal with. Ouroboros didn't skimp on the guards in there, so watch it.
[Hostiles: Ouroboros Security]
Ouroboros Security: Just like we practiced.
Ouroboros Security: 's cool.
>glnt drvstg |xxxxxxxxxxxxxx -r Working...
Ouroboros Security: Ah, *CENSORED*! I'm gonna catch hell for this!
Operator: Pulling the logs... Yeah, here's the record. There was... Wait... Ah, *CENSORED* it! A ton of data went through, but it had the hell encrypted out of it. I can't even tell where it was going to or coming from... God! Look at that encryption. What the hell is that? Wait... Flip the bits here... No, there... Yeah...
You know what this sequence pattern looks like? Kinda like the encryption our red pill trace program runs--the one Danielle Wright wrote for us. Different, obviously, but I'd swear it's the same author. It's got to be Wright tech.
Tyndall: It sounds like it probably was Mauser, using technology from Danielle Wright's lab, as the Machines have suspected. And that might explain why he didn't use the same method when breaking into her company: they could be familiar enough with her code to neutralize that particular attack.
And you know... Wright was an old Zion operative--a network specialist. It stands to reason she'd have known about the old restricted line system Mauser's been using. What if she had lines built into her city facilities, and that's how Mauser got himself past the physical security system when he broke into Wright Research?
In any case, the encrypted attack at Ouroboros is a smoking gun, but we still need to find the target: what was it directed at inside their network?