Actions

Work Header

Invasive Failure

Work Text:

"Ohoho, what have we here?"

The more the world's technologies advance, the more important it is to have effective security on one's technology. The advent of the NervGear had been the turning point where antivirus software had gone from 'a safety measure that you want to have' to 'a life-shaping thing that you need to have'; if a malicious hacker managed to crack into the computer connected to someone's NervGear, they could upload sensory data that could scar an individual for life.

It had become more prominent than ever after the Sword Art Online incident; with the discovery that the NervGear was able to fry a player's brain, no one wanted to be susceptible to a hack that could kill an individual outright. Even after the AmuSphere had supplanted the NervGear on all fronts, antivirus software was nigh-omnipresent; black hat hackers had their work cut out for them in trying to break through firewalls.

That being said, every good practice has someone who can't afford it, is unable to maintain it, or thinks they don't need it.

A cracker in the middle of Tokyo earned a respectable amount of money for breaking through firewalls - but everyone needs a hobby, and not everyone has a capacity for innocent enjoyment. When he didn't have a job ongoing (and wasn't in financial trouble to actively look for one), he'd scour connections for those select few who lacked such firewalls. And once he'd found them, it was a simple matter to make them regret it; he'd search the system for unimportant programs with unlisted developers (or developers who had gone out of business), and "update" them to serve as his tools. He could force a system to shut down irreparably, look for personal information by which he could make the owner suffer, manipulate the computer as his own, or use the computer as a decoy in case the authorities were on his tail during a paid job.

On this particular day, he'd broken into what seemed to be a jackpot; an unprotected computer, with a single program connected to a cloud network. That cloud was connected to a couple cell phones, several VRMMORPG accounts, cameras in various places, and the computer itself again (curious that someone who lacked antivirus software understood enough engineering to have redundancy built into their system); the program was constantly updating itself in cycles between the cloud and the computer, and the cloud itself contained a visual asset rendering program, a video chat program, a connection to someone's NervGear (who has a NervGear after the release of the AmuSphere?), and a compressed file with no extracted files anywhere in the cloud or connected devices.

Chuckling quietly to himself, the cracker began to get to work. He had specialized scripts that he could assign a file name to and download to a system; once it was there, it would automatically install itself in the program of the appropriate name. With the constant self-updating of this particular program, it would be a right trial for the computer's owner to uninstall the script once it was in; he quickly opened up the details for his data-mining script and typed in the program's designation.

MHCP-001.exe

Then he made to send the file to his victim's computer.

Downloading...
Download complete.
Installing...
Installation cancelled.

The cracker blinked. "Wait, what?"

Installing...
Installation cancelled.
Deleting...

"What the hell?" The cracker couldn't believe what he was seeing. "How did it...?"

Script deleted.

With a shake of his head, he made to download the file to the system again.

Downloading...
Download complete.
Installing...
Installation cancelled.
Installing...
Installation cancelled.
Deleting...
Script deleted.

"What the hell is going on?" the cracker muttered to himself. "Why does it keep getting deleted?"

He promptly changed tactics, opening his remote-manipulation script and typing in the file name again; then he made to download that to the victim's computer instead.

Downloading...
Download cancelled.

The cracker slammed his fist to the corner of his keyboard. The program must have some kind of built-in antivirus, he realized. But the system itself still isn't protected. Let's see if I can't find a different target. Maybe I can install it to the cloud-link from there instead.

It didn't take him long to find what he was looking for soon enough - the computer seemed to belong to a wannabe programmer, as there was a program with no listed developer that seemed to be an unfinished homebrew.

YuiSeedModifierWIP.exe

He quickly typed in the filename for his manipulation script and made to download it.

Downloading...
Download complete.
Installing...
Installation cancelled.
Installing...
Installation successful.

"That's more like it," the cracker observed. "Now, let's- huh!?"

Uninstalling...
Uninstall successful.
Deleting...
Script deleted.

"Oh, what the hell!?" he muttered. "How does this keep happening?"

Now he was frustrated. Readying all of his scripts, he listed both filenames and made to download them all to the target computer.

Downloading...
Download cancelled.
Downloading...
Download cancelled.
Downloading...
Download complete.
Downloading...
Download complete.
Installing...
Installing...

The system-destruction and data-mining scripts had been shut down, but his decoy and remote-manipulation scripts had connected successfully. That was a small comfort, however, with what followed.

Installation cancelled.
Installation cancelled.
Installing...
Installation cancelled.
Installing...
Installation successful.
Installing...
Installation cancelled.
Deleting...
Script deleted.
Installing...
Installation successful.

The decoy link had gotten into both programs; the remote-manipulation script was blocked out and deleted from the cloud-connector, but had gotten into the work-in-progress. He quickly made to manipulate the system before it could get uninstalled, making to access the program.

Uninstalling...
Uninstall successful.
Uninstalling...
Uninstall successful.

His decoy script was removed from both programs; he managed to open a direct link from the victim's computer to the cloud, and got the name of a random program in there to install his scripts. Hopefully, downloading them from the victim's computer would be more successful.

Uninstalling...
Downloading...
Downloading...
Downloading...
Downloading...
Uninstall successful.

That was his remote-manipulator out of the computer, but the lot of his programs were going to the cloud, assigned to the virtual asset rendering program.

Download complete.
Installing...
Download complete.
Installing...
Download complete.
Installing...
Download cancelled.

His shutdown script was kept out, but the rest were in and trying to install.

Installation successful.
Installation successful.
Installation cancelled.

No datamining, but his decoy and remote manipulator were in. His options were more limited with a raw cloud rather than a proper computer, but he quickly made to install the remote manipulator directly into the program he'd targeted first, from the rendering program in the same cloud.

Uninstalling...
Uninstalling...
Installing...
Uninstall successful.
Uninstall successful.
Installation successful.

"Yes!" He'd managed to get his remote manipulator onto the resistant program; it was already backing itself up onto the computer. He quickly made to start the-

Huh?

The cracker's hands froze over his keyboard. All of a sudden, his remote-manipulation window wasn't showing files and folders. There was an image filling the window; it looked like a starry void, with screens popping up all around it. One by one, the screens started to blink out; outside of the window, he saw that the program he had managed to install on had stopped its self-updating. As the last screen vanished from the void view, something started to appear - it looked like a video game rendering a battlefield. In his file view, he saw a message window appear in the cloud; it started with multiple messages, and more continued to appear, implying that it had taken longer to open than it had the tasks to run.

Papas_phone disconnected.
Mamas_phone disconnected.
Kirito_alo disconnected.
Asuna_alo disconnected.
Erika_alo disconnected.
Generating debug_zone.yui...
Extracting Cardinal_remnants.rar...
MHCP-001.exe renamed to MHCP-001compromised.exe
debug_zone.yui generated.
Uploading MHCP-001.exe...
MHCP-001.exe uploaded.

In his manipulator window, he saw a flash of light; when it faded, what appeared to be a young girl was standing there. She was pale, with dark hair and eyes; a white dress clad her body, with a ribbon tied around her waist, though she had no footwear. Her expression was incongruous with her form; she looked furious, and the fact that she seemed to be looking right at him was all the worse.

All of a sudden, a message window appeared on his own PC.

Downloading...
Download complete.
Installing...
Installation successful.

The light on his webcam actiavted - and that set off a lot of red lights. The camera was built-in to his monitor; he hadn't been able to physically disconnect it, so he had broken into the files of his computer, deleted everything that was responsible for running or reading from his camera, and then prevented his computer from acknowledging the hardware. It should not have been possible for his webcam to be running. After a moment, the viewpoint in his manipulator window started to shift, with the girl keeping her gaze directly on him as more messages appeared in the cloud.

Papas_pc disconnected.
Cardinal_remnants.rar extracted to cardinal_remnants.FOLDER.
Generating object_eraser.sao...
object_eraser.sao generated.

The girl swept her hand outward, and fire surged from her grip; it converged on itself after a moment, forming a sword of bright red with spikes down the blade. There were still flames dancing around it, and after a moment, she made to swing it forward.

The manipulator window closed.

MHCP-001compromised.exe eradicated.
Demanifesting object_eraser.sao...
Demanifesting debug_zone.yui...
object_eraser.sao demanifested.
debug_zone.yui demanifested.
Deleting cardinal_remnants.FOLDER...
cardinal_remnants.FOLDER deleted.

"What the hell...?" The cracker couldn't believe what he had just seen. "What kind of program is that? Who the hell was...?"

His view of the cloud vanished; after a moment, a message window popped up.

MHCP-001.exe sends the following message:
My name is Yui Kirigaya.
Stay out of my cloud.
Stay away from my father.

Something changed in his vision; after a moment, he realized the light next to his webcam had turned off. No sooner had this stuck him than another message window appeared.

Downloading...
Download complete.
Installing...
Installation successful.

And then, blue; his monitor was flooded with blue, with white text appearing on the screen.

A fatal exception 0E has occurred at 0028:C0011E36 in
UXD(01) + 00010E36. Your computer will be terminated.


Shortly after the liberation of 300 SAO Survivors from ALO...

"Something wrong, Papa?"

Kirito glanced at his webcam in response to Yui's question. "I'm trying to transfer your program file from my NervGear to my desktop," he explained, "but I don't have the storage capacity. I'm gonna have to delete something."

"Do you have an antivirus program?" Yui asked.

"Of course I have an antivirus program," Kirito insisted, "what about it?"

"Cardinal designed me with multiple different firewalls and anti-malware scripts," Yui explained. "If you delete your antivirus, and that makes room for me, I can keep your computer safe instead."

"Are you sure?" Kirito asked.

"Of course, Papa!"