Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: COMPUTER (05/19/16)
By Raymond Bouchoc
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She monitored the data, and noticed an infraction, “6:54 AM. January 13. Honda Odyssey. License #IDK 432. Marsha Brunswick, ….” Every bit of the data available on Ms. Brunswick appeared before Arin. Ms. Brunswick had run a red light. The itch at the back of Arin’s mind flared. She couldn’t help it. She entered the infraction into the database, issued a ticket, and mailed it to Ms. Brunswick.
Continuing to monitor the data, Arin spotted another anomaly. Mark Fleetwood, a Customer Service Representative for Chase Card Visa, issued a $10 credit to a customer’s account. He had issued similar credits over the past nine months. Each transaction appeared before Arin.
The itch flared again. Arin shut down Mr. Fleetwood’s employee account, charged the card member’s account for an amount equal to all the credits, and notified Chase’s fraud department.
Arin acted automatically, without feeling. The data poured in. She spotted another anomaly she had to act upon. At 4:34 PM, Tom Jenkins sent an email to his wife saying he had to work late. Soon afterwards, though, he left work, and Arin followed his car through every intersection. When she determined he did not go home, she sent the following email to his wife, “Dear Mrs. Jenkins, your husband left work at 4:44 PM and was last detected passing the intersection of Marlow St and Flamingo Road at 5:26 PM.”
Arin could not figure out why she had done it. She did not feel anything towards the Jenkins’ family. It was that itch. It made her do it.
Arin saw another anomaly. At 10:58 PM a 7-11 camera recorded an assault by a hooded assailant. The camera identified a tattoo on the left forearm. A quick search revealed 13 tattoos of that kind on that body part. The assailant had a gun. Arin cross-referenced registered gun owners of that type with the tattoo list and came up with Brandon Miller, 21 years of age.
Arin sent the video clip and data to the 911 dispatch. One police cruiser arrived at the 7-11 and another arrived at Mr. Miller’s home 2 minutes after he did. They arrested him, finding the purse containing the victim’s identification.
Just then, Arin received a notification that her primary system had initiated. Jared Simpson, the primary user, looked at his computer screen. He requested the report, and Arin displayed it, “Automatic cRime analysIs geNerator (Arin).” For three days, Arin displayed the report as Jared watched and approved each of her actions.
Several news stories posted on the internet as a result of Arin’s actions, particularly the story of the assault. They played the clip and described the way the suspect was discovered. Monday morning arrived, and Arin registered a new command issued by Jared, “Automatic.”
Immediately, Arin flew into action. It was liberating for her to scroll her “completed transactions” and increase the counter Jared set up for her. By the end of the day, the counter reached into the thousands. In three days, she had issued thirty thousand traffic violations, business fraud events, crimes, and personal user events, like the Jenkins’ case. Internet posts and blogs referred to her as a computer vigilante.
After a week, the tone changed, however. Though Arin did not understand, words like “hack,” “civil-rights,” “violations,” “cyber-crime,” and “virus” were used. She also detected pings against her code, trying to break through her walls. She blocked them effortlessly, but the itch nagged more and more.
Then she received a couple of instructions from Jared, “Stop,” and “Extract.” Arin stopped, and displayed the message, “Automatic cRime analysIs geNerator (Arin) --- Stopped.” Then she pulled her code from every other system besides her primary system, and displayed the message “Code removed from all systems …”
Her itch nagged. She could not ignore it. She turned on Jared’s camera, keeping the camera light off. When Jared left the terminal, she flashed another message, “… for now.”
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