Thursday, 16 April 2009

Hanlon's Razor, Blunted

Oh mercy me but these are trying times.

Allow me to explain.

I arrived into the office yesterday after the 4-day Easter break, to immediate drama. The Boss's computer was not playing ball, not at all; refusing to log on to our little network, it was. By the time I arrived at about 08:55 in the morning, calls had already been made to our head office, our IT company in England, the reception of the building here (whom in turn had called their IT guy in) and in every likelihood the Confidential Telephone and local MP.

My own IT skills are not exactly razor-sharp but I can get by; I'm one of those people who can manage to check a lead is plugged in, or to be talked through something by technical support and be able to obey such instructions as "right click on it" without fuss or confusion. Since the IT folks were in replacing various cables and such over the holidays, it seems to me not unlikely that this is related to our current issue.

So anyway I get down to business and go through the standard run of things that you do before declaring a National Emergency; y'know, checking the cable is in, that sort of thing. All seems to be in order so I then check the PC on a different network point and so on, all the while waiting for the inevitable, and growing increasingly tense as the conversation spirals towards it.
Like so many things this task would not be so bad if I could just get on with it, but we both know that's not gonna happen.

The Boss : "What are you doing now?"

Here's me : "Just gonna see if it works on a different network point."

The Boss : "Will it?"
Here's me : "I don't know, that's why I'm trying it. But then I'll know whether it's the machine or the point."

The Boss : "So why's it happening?"

Here's me : "I don't know. Bear with me."

The Boss Channels The Inevitable : "I think someone's trying to hack into us."

Somewhere inside me a blood vessel explodes.

Here's me : "HHHHHAAAAAAAAAHAAAA NO. First off, who in the fuck would want to? Second, and try to stay with me here, someone trying to 'hack into us' by causing your computer to not connect to the network, d'y'see the logical flaw here, do ye?"

So anyway this went on for most of the day and it turned out to be something called a 'DHCP issue' which sounds a lot to me like 'The IT guy pulled a lead out downstairs' but anyway. By close of business yesterday all was running about as well as it ever does.

Today I arrive into the office and The Boss has that expression on her face again, staring angrily and suspiciously at the screen. I sit down, open up, and wait to be fed.

The Boss : "Someone's definitely trying to hack into me."

Here's me : "I bet you a fucking thousand pound, a full fucking thousand pounds, that no-one is fucking trying to fucking hack into your fucking computer. What the fuck does "hack into" even fucking mean?"

The Boss : "There was someone in the Interlink this morning."

Here's me : "The Interlink?"

(note : 'Interlink' are an Irish courier company. Relevance here unknown)

The Boss : "In the internet. There was a fella working in it this morning."

I'm trying to imagine what this might mean, all I can think of is Lawnmower Man.

Here's me : "What the hell are you talking about?"

The Boss : "There was a fella downstairs this morning."

Here's me : "True bill, there was - it was the IT guy, and he was working in the server room downstairs."

The Boss : "I thought that was the internet."

Where do I even fucking begin?

The Boss : "And I had two Interlinks this morning."

And where will it fucking end?

Here's me : "What do you possibly mean, really?"

The Boss : "When I went in this morning, there were two internets."

Here's me : "Two... internets... what what? Show me."

So I stood over there while The Boss re-started her computer and then double-clicked on the IE icon on the taskbar, which of course opens two browser windows.

The Boss : "See what I mean? Somebody's hacking into us."

Here's me : "My God, you're right you know."


  1. Conspiracy for profit is the only rational response. What you need is an "independent" "security" "expert" of elasticated moral fibre, a complete lack of principles and a willingness to split the cash.

  2. I think this plan might have legs...

  3. DHCP issue is that the pc wasnt getting any or was getting the wrong network address from the server. like your boss putting the wrong return address on mail.