“We did it,” said Harish in a proud and content tone. Harish and Shreya could not come to terms with their achievement.
“Yes, we did it, ” said Shreya with a laugh that resonated her happiness, pride, and satisfaction to the extreme level. She realized that this might be what they call self-actualization in her management course.
“We’ve proved again to the world that anything is possible,” remarked Harish while looking at the horizon. They were seated on the patio overseeing the beach.
Inside their house, the television was showing a news channel reiterating the same piece of highlighted news. Three of the top twenty most richest Indian businessmen were targeted and their accounts were hacked. If calculated together, the hackers stole an amount of nearly 100 billion dollars from all the three accounts together. Going beyond their accounts, the hackers have done something seemingly impossible without the facilitation of authorities. They liquidated the assets of these businessmen and transferred the money from their accounts. Most of these transactions have happened within a span of few seconds and there was no way the banks could notice the occurrence of such transactions. Banks have been vehemently trying to reverse the transactions for the last few hours, in vain. The hackers have used new technology that made the state of the art technologies appear obsolete. The only thing common between the three businessmen is that they all became rich with their ventures in the silicon valley.
This scandal heralded a new generation of robbery that superseded all earlier scandals by a greater degree. Every person regardless of the social and financial status seemed to be daunted by this event. The opposition parties in the Parliament started blaming the ruling party for lack of proper governance. The digital world appeared to extremely unsafe. Protests started everywhere across the country. People felt unsafe with the money in the banks. They wanted to take their money and keep it safe in their homes. The demand for home safety lockers has increased manifold within a short span of two hours. People started thronging ATMs across the country. The financial network in the country turned out to be a mess. Many ATM networks stopped working and people could not withdraw money as the money wells have dried up. The government has asked the banks to immediately address these issues.
The other top businessmen have started consulting foreign agencies to come up with new models to ensure the safety of their assets. The stock markets have plunged down because of this scandal. The Central Bureau of Investigation and the police authorities have teamed up with digital experts across the globe to track the main culprits and restore the money from them. There was hardly any clue anywhere and the nature of the scam left everyone unsure as to where to begin their investigation. It all appeared to be a web of chaos. There were no records. A few transactions happened within a matter of milliseconds using digital signatures of top authorities from the government and the banks. Usually, it would take at least a few weeks to a couple of months for such transactions to be approved by all the authorities because of the stringent protocols involved.
Meanwhile, Harish made coffee for Shreya. They both drank coffee while watching the news reports and the updates about the scandal. Media and authorities have named this scandal – The Ultracon scandal. Nobody knows who the con is, though. Harish and Shreya found this entertaining.
They ordered lunch from outside and enjoyed the entertainment till the evening. There was complete unrest in the entire world as the financial deficit extrapolated from India. More than the financial deficit, it was fear the spread across the globe faster and the popular hashtags said something like takeyourmoneyhome and safeathome.
After six hours of entertainment, Harish asked, “Shall we take it to the next level?”
Shreya nodded and said, “Sure. Let us add more fun to the existing drama.”
She unlocked her mobile phone and sent a mail to someone. She looked at her husband, Harish, and smiled.
Within a few minutes, a new set of flash news appeared on the television news channels and all the news websites across the globe.
The CBI has found out that all the transferred funds went into the accounts of a top leader of a terrorist organization and his close aides. There was constant activity within these accounts within the last few hours. The money further percolated from their accounts to unknown and unidentified accounts that could not be traced further.
While the CBI was proud of its presentation in front of the media and the public, they were not so pleased with the turn of events. They were not the ones who found out this piece of news. Some of the top authorities received emails simultaneously from a single source saying that all the funds have been transferred to these accounts. So, it was not much of an achievement of the authorities as they tried to pose on national news channels.
The panic among the public stopped to some extent, but the fears continued to haunt the business people across the globe.
Shanmugan, a top CBI officer said to his boss, “This is a very intriguing case. We could not even start our investigation. There was no source. There was no information. It all happened digitally and there were no records. And, suddenly we get a strange email blaming the terrorist group. This seems highly improbable. A little amount of research has shown that this terrorist group is not backed up by such technology or resources to undertake such an act. They could only involved in criminal activities that involved arms and ammunition to the most dangerous possible extent. There is something missing. It is obvious that someone else did this and they put the blame on the terrorist outfit. And, the money is yet to be traced.”
Shanmugan’s boss said, “Yet, we have to track down the terrorist outfit and arrest those people without any delay. It is a matter of national financial and security concern as of now. If we let the media and common people know that the terrorist outfit is not responsible, public unrest and anarchy will rise again. In fact, these orders are from the government and top ministers. We need to follow their orders.”
Shanmugan said, “Imagine this. To execute such a big con, there needs to be multi-pronged strategy. First the person must be an expert in hacking and financial policies at the same time. Second, it is highly impossible to cross all the firewalls and crack the highly secure network of the financial institutions. In fact, there is so much encryption involved in the process of ensuring the security, that the protocols make it completely foolproof. Let us assume they could break through this system. Then, they should be able to obtain the digital signatures of top authorities in banks and government offices. We have technology that dynamically changes these digital signatures. It is highly impossible to reuse these signatures without proper authorization. The only way they could do this entire scandal is to create a similar network with the same infrastructure or replicate the existing one. Hacking the disaster recovery sites would not have been of any help for them as they are highly encrypted and the data is de-duplicated to ensure further safety. How did the hackers achieve this feat?”
Despite all the questions and arguments, it was the duty of the department to track down the terrorist outfit and take appropriate action against them.
It took only a matter of six more hours for the government authorities to track down and arrest the key players of the terrorist outfit.
Harish and Shreya felt happy at the outcome.
At the end of the day, before going to sleep, Harish asked his wife, “Which is the next country? Who are the next lucky people?”
Shreya replied, “I always wanted to visit Europe. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a European country in the play tomorrow?”
They had a big laugh and went to sleep, peacefully with an ultimate sense of achievement. Their day has been the most productive one. They have been planning for this day for nearly seven years. And, their foolproof plan has finally been successful.